It has now been more than two weeks since 18-month-old Elaina Steinfurth was reported missing in Toledo, Ohio. Her mother Angela Steinfurth was arrested last week on a child endangerment charge for failing to seek medical care for her after an injury, but police have not revealed what they believe happened to the girl.
Volunteers participated in a weekend search for Elaina along the Maumee River, and they planned to continue search efforts Monday. Authorities are offering a $10,000 reward for information leading to Elaina’s location.
Grace said last Wednesday’s arrest of Angela Steinfurth could be the key to solving the case.
“The most important thing,” Grace said, “the mom is behind bars on this technical charge. She’s going to crack and then we’re going to hear the truth.”
While Elaina’s father and his family have been very active in searching for the child, Grace noted that Angela’s ex-boyfriend—whose house she was staying at when Elaina allegedly went missing—is not speaking publicly.
“Where’s the boyfriend?” Grace asked. “Why isn’t he front and center begging for help?”
The ex-boyfriend's mother told HLN last week that he has cooperated fully with investigators and has passed a polygraph test. His father said Thursday that he does not know where Elaina is and he is cooperating with police “110 percent.”
HLN is attempting to get a comment from the ex-boyfriend on the case.
Grace also raised questions about the disappearance of 9-month-old Levon Wameling in Utica, New York.
Wameling’s father, Jevon Wameling, allegedly did not report him missing until two weeks after he was last seen, and police told the Utica Observer-Dispatch they have found no indication that Jevon searched for him during that time.
Police said Wameling claimed Levon vanished from his front porch on May 29 after he left the boy alone briefly to unlock a door.
Levon’s mother, Amy Warney, was in rehab when he went missing. Warney’s sister, Tiffany Smith, told HLN her family believes there is more to the story than Jevon Wameling has said.
Jevon Wameling has not been charged with a crime at this point. Attempts to reach him or his family for comment have been unsuccessful.
Volunteers were being sought to participate in a new search for Levon on Monday.
“I don’t see the father anywhere looking for the baby,” Grace said. “He has not taken part in the searches.”
According to Grace, authorities may be waiting to file additional charges in both cases until they find the missing children or their bodies.
“These things take time,” she said. “In some of these jurisdictions, they have never prosecuted a murder case without a body, so that’s what they’re waiting on.”
“To me, both the stories stink…It’s like these people treat their babies like they’re pets,” Grace said.
For the latest on the search for Elaina Steinfurth, watch Nancy Grace Monday at 8 p.m. ET on HLN.