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Baby Elaina’s dad recalls the day she disappeared

NEED TO KNOW
  • Father of missing Elaina Steinfurth describes confrontation with her mother and ex-boyfriend
  • Mother Angela Steinfurth charged with child endangerment
  • Angela Steinfurth's stepfather: 'My daughter screwed up big time'

Dad of missing baby Elaina reveals new details

Terry Steinfurth Jr. holds his daughter Elaina in his arms in this photo taken in 2011.

Elaina's dad feared girls were mistreated by mom

18-month-old Elaina Steinfurth was reported missing on June 2.

Every second counts: Where is baby Elaina?

Every second counts: Where is baby Elaina?

As dive teams searched the Maumee River for any sign of Elaina Steinfurth Monday, the missing 18-month-old’s father revealed new details about the day of her disappearance.

In an exclusive interview with HLN’s Nancy Grace, Terry Steinfurth Jr. described what happened when he went to pick his two daughters up from his estranged wife on June 2 and he discovered that Elaina was missing.

Angela Steinfurth, Elaina’s mother, had stayed at her ex-boyfriend Steven King’s house the previous night. When Terry went to the Federal Street home of King’s family to get the girls, he says he found Angela sitting on the porch smoking a cigarette.

“I asked her to go get the baby,” he said. “She told me she had just laid her down for a nap and she wasn’t waking her up.”

According to Terry, Angela let their 4-year-old go with him but she refused to go inside and get Elaina. Then he claims King started “yelling and screaming like he wanted to fight, ripped his shirt off.”

At that point, Terry says he left and came back with his father, Terry Steinfurth Sr., who got out of the car and confronted King.

“The boyfriend told me he would fight with me, like he wants to do with my son, and I just told him I wasn’t there to fight with him,” Steinfurth Sr. told Grace Monday. “I wanted to see my granddaughter.”

Steinfurth Sr. claims Angela told him she would not give Elaina up because she thought Terry would never bring her back. She finally agreed to go inside and get Elaina, and King went into the house with her, he says.

Steinfurth Sr. said Angela came back outside about a half hour later and claimed someone had taken Elaina.

According to a police report obtained by HLN Monday, King is believed to have left through the back door during this time without anyone knowing. Angela allegedly said he left to go look for Elaina.

The police report revealed additional information about the timeline of events on June 2. According to the report, Angela said she last saw Elaina when she put her down for a nap around 1 p.m.

She said she and her ex-boyfriend then went to the Family Dollar and, when they returned, the door to the bedroom where Elaina had been sleeping was still closed so she did not go in to check on her.

Around 2 p.m., Terry Steinfurth Jr. arrived. After arguing with Angela, he returned around 2:30 with his father and Angela agreed to get Elaina. 25 minutes later, Angela said Elaina was gone. Steven King had left at that point.

Police arrived around 3 p.m. and began interviewing witnesses and searching the neighborhood. King returned around 4:30 p.m., according to the report.

The police report described the King house as “unfit for living,” noting sewage overflowing from a toilet and dog feces on the floor.

King and his parents have not returned calls from HLN seeking a comment on the case since Thursday, but his mother and father both told HLN last week that he is cooperating fully with investigators and does not know where Elaina is.

Angela Steinfurth was arrested last Wednesday on a child endangerment charge for allegedly not seeking medical attention for Elaina after she suffered an injury. She remains in custody on $250,000 bond.

Calls to her attorney have not been returned.

Angela’s stepfather, Richard Schiewe, suggested Monday that there is more to the story.

“My daughter screwed up big time, okay?” Schiewe told Nancy Grace. “I’m not making excuses. I can’t forgive and I can’t forget it. The story is she knows what happened to the baby. She got afraid because people threatened, if you say anything, you’re next.”

Schiewe claimed Angela told him she does not know where Elaina is, but she knows what happened to her and who took her from the house.

According to Schiewe, Angela told him she had made a big mistake, but he would not say what the mistake was, stating that the FBI told him not to talk about it. However, he did say his “gut feeling” is that Elaina is dead.

“It’s been too long for her to be gone,” Schiewe said.

Terry Steinfurth Jr. said one of the reasons he and Angela separated was the way she treated their children. He claimed she would yell and curse at them and she would drag their older daughter around and smack her in the mouth.

Captain Brad Weis of the Toledo Police Department said child protective services had been involved with the couple in 2012 when they were having issues with their marriage, but that case was closed.

Terry Steinfurth Jr. told Nancy Grace he has asked Angela and others who were at the house that day what happened several times.

“’We don’t know, we don’t know.’ That’s the only answers I keep getting,” he said.

“That’s more or less what they’re telling me,” Terry Steinfurth Sr. said. “Nobody knows who took this baby, nobody can tell us when the baby left the house or the last time they saw the baby in the house.”

For the latest on the search for Elaina, watch Nancy Grace Tuesday at 8 p.m. ET on HLN.

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