Store clerk says missing toddler appeared unharmed on morning of disappearanceWritten by Evan Brune Casey Harper | | firstname.lastname@example.org
A store clerk reported to the Toledo Police Department’s Crime Stoppers tip line that she saw Angela Steinfurth and her now-missing 18-month-old toddler Elaina between 8 and 9:30 a.m. the morning of June 2, just four hours before the family discovered the baby was missing.
Hayleigh Rowan, a clerk at the Gas Express Mart on Starr Avenue and White Street in East Toledo, said Steinfurth came in and used SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) benefits, commonly known as food stamps, to buy a donut and a bag of chips. Steinfurth left without saying a word.
Rowan said she saw no bruises on Elaina, contradicting reports of a source named only as “Frank” on HLN’s “Nancy Grace.”
“I didn’t see anything but I did just glance at the baby,” Rowan said. “But even at a glance you’d notice a black eye.”
The store normally records customers coming and going but Rowan said the cameras were down that morning due to a “wire mishap.”
Rowan worked with Steinfurth for a few weeks at the same Gas Express Mart.
Rowan called the Crime Stoppers hotline June 8, six days after the toddler’s disappearance. Rowan said she mentioned the information to her boss a few times and then later reported it to Crime Stoppers at the urging of her mother.
On June 24, Steinfurth was indicted by a grand jury on charges of obstruction of justice.
She went before a grand jury for child endangerment charges after a preliminary hearing on the morning of June 24.
According to Lynn Carder, executive director of the Toledo-Lucas County Victim Witness Assistance Program, Steinfurth will enter a plea on the indictment, and the judge will decide whether or not to reduce her bond from $250,000.
“I’ve seen them lessen the bond, but I’ve also seen them increase it. It’s up to the judge,” Carder said.
Angela made no statement in court June 24. Her arraignment is set for 9 a.m. June 26.
“I’m happy,” said family member Ginger Smith at the court appearance June 24. “Hopefully, we’re going to get somewhere now.”
Smith is a cousin of Elaina’s father, Terry Steinfurth Jr.
Angela was arrested June 12. Searchers will continue looking for Elaina.
Elaina was reported missing June 2 when 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.