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Possible new lead in Elaina Steinfurth search

  • Fisherman found possible strands of hair in river near home where missing toddler was last seen
  • Police testing hair to determine if it is human
  • 18-month-old Elaina Steinfurth missing since June 2
A lock of hair pulled from the Maumee River could provide a new lead in the search for missing toddler Elaina Steinfurth.

Timeline: How the baby Elaina case unfolded

Timeline: How the baby Elaina case unfolded

A lock of hair pulled from the Maumee River could provide a new lead in the search for missing toddler Elaina Steinfurth.

A fisherman found the strands of brownish-blond hair on Saturday, according to the Toledo Blade.

He turned the evidence over to police, who have sent it away for testing to determine whether it is human hair, Toledo Police Department Sergeant Joe Heffernan told HLN. He said investigators hope to get those results in the next few days. If it is human, they will see if DNA can be recovered from it to examine for a possible match to Elaina’s DNA.

At this time, police are not planning any new dive team searches of the river until those results come back.

“We’ve done extensive dive searches in that area already,” Heffernan said Tuesday, noting that both local authorities and FBI dive teams participated in those search efforts.

The house where Elaina was reportedly last seen is about one mile from the Maumee River.

The Toledo Blade reported that volunteers planned to scour the riverbanks for evidence after the discovery of the hair.

18-month-old Elaina Steinfurth was reported missing on June 2. Her mother Angela Steinfurth claimed the girl disappeared from her ex-boyfriend’s house after she put her down for a nap that afternoon.

Angela Steinfurth has been arrested in connection with the case and was indicted last week on a charge of obstructing justice. The indictment alleged that she provided false information to hinder the investigation.

Steinfurth has pleaded not guilty and is being held on $100,000 bond. Her attorney could not be reached for comment Tuesday morning.


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