UPDATE: Relatives of Angela’s cellmate contact FBI with tipWritten by Evan Brune Casey Harper | | firstname.lastname@example.org
Relatives of Angela Steinfurth’s cellmate alerted the FBI late Tuesday evening to the potential location of Steinfurth’s missing 18-month-old daughter, Elaina.
Jobeth Adams of North Toledo said her sister, Connie Elam, called her June 18 from Lucas County Correctional Facility. Elam told Adams that Steinfurth had confessed to helping her boyfriend hide Elaina’s body.
“[Elam] called Tuesday night, and she was really upset,” Adams said. “She said, ‘I don’t know why this woman has decided to confide in me.’”
According to Elam, Steinfurth’s boyfriend Steven W. King threw Elaina up against the wall between the night of June 1 and the morning of June 2, injuring her. King then put the toddler down for a nap and when Steinfurth checked on her later, Elaina was dead.
“They wrapped [Elaina] up in a blanket, and took her down by the High-Level Bridge and [King] stood behind [Steinfurth] and she threw this baby in the river,” Adams said.
‘“[I said] ‘So what you’re trying to tell me, Connie, is there is no hope for this baby coming home?,’” Adams said. “And she said, ‘No Jobeth.’ She said, ‘They’re looking in the right place for this baby. This baby is dead. She’s in the river.’”
Elam called Adams at 9:24 p.m. June 18. Adams’ husband called Toledo Police Department’s Crime Stoppers tip line at 10:50 p.m.
“Carl called and gave all the information, and they transferred us over to the FBI,” Adams said.
Adams said her sister is only interested in helping the search for Elaina.
“The other women [in Steinfurth’s cell] want something. My sister don’t want something,” Adams said. “That’s the reason she said something.”
Adams said Elam and Steinfurth became cellmates on June 17.
“[At first], she felt bad because all the girls in there was wanting to beat the girl up,” Adams said. “Then all of a sudden, the girl comes to her and confided in her and she’s like, ‘You didn’t take your baby to the hospital?’
Elam is currently incarcerated on child endangerment charges, but has not been convicted. The charges stem from an incident on March 20, in which Elam left her 2-year-old daughter with the child’s paternal grandfather, Aubrey Dale Marshall, a convicted sex offender. Adams said Elam did not know of Marshall’s prior conviction. Marshall is charged with raping Elam’s daughter, but has not been convicted.
“My sister’s in there for something that happened to her child that she couldn’t help and is looking at this girl like, ‘I took my baby to the hospital.’ My sister took her child to the hospital. … and this lady didn’t do nothing for her baby. So it hurt my sister. It hurt her bad. It is a real messed up situation.”
Steinfurth is being held on child endangerment charges while the investigation into Elaina’s disappearance continues. King has not been charged in connection with Elaina’s disappearance.
Elaina was reported missing on June 2 when her father Terry Steinfurth Jr. came to pick up his daughter between noon and 1 p.m. at a home on Federal Street. An argument ensued when Angela refused to give him Elaina, according to several witnesses.
Almost an hour after the start of the argument, Angela went in to get Elaina but came out “crying and screaming” that Elaina was gone, according to Terry Steinfurth Sr., Elaina’s grandfather.
The family began searching the area for Elaina. They called the police when she could not be found.