Fishermen watch as FBI, Coast Guard search for missing toddler - 13abc.com Toledo (OH) News, Weather and Sports

Fishermen watch as FBI, Coast Guard search for missing toddler

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  • Search continues for baby Elaina

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    Monday, June 17 2013 9:18 PM EDT2013-06-18 01:18:25 GMT
    It's been two weeks and counting and there are still no signs of a missing toddler from East Toledo. Elaina Steinfurth was last seen June 2. Since her disappearance, investigators and volunteers have
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Day 15 ends with no sign of the missing East Toledo toddler.

FBI divers spent Monday combing the Maumee River for 18-month-old Elaina Steinfurth.

The search boast spent five hours on the water near the Anthony Wayne Bridge, known as the High Level Bridge, as fishermen somberly looked on.

Rods and reels, speedboats, and rowing teams.

It seems like a normal summer day on the Maumee River, but it's all cast in the grim shadow of a US Coast Guard boat searching for 18-month-old Elaina Steinfurth who was last seen on June 2nd.

"They came down this way and then they went down there and stopped," says William Jones, a fisherman.

Jones sits in silence, as he always does as he baits his hook and waits for a bite.

But this time his thoughts are with the missing East Toledo toddler and what the FBI and Coast Guard will find, or won't find, in the river.

"Whatever they can do to find her. I hope they find her alive," says Jones.

"A lot of similarities in Nevaeh's case," says Risa Smith who the organizer of the group called Justice for Nevaeh. "It's kind of eerie."

Since last Thursday, dozens of the group's volunteers have been fanning out and searching every other day for missing Elaina.

Justice for Nevaeh formed four years ago after five-year-old Nevaeh Buchanan disappeared from her apartment in Monroe, MI.  About two weeks later, a pair of fishermen found Nevaeh dead, encased in cement, buried alive on the banks of the River Raisin.

"We're talking about being by water again, we're talking about a lot of things that have to do with Nevaeh's case which does definitely open up a few wounds, but you can never give up hope when you're looking for a child," says Smith.

"I've got four of them," says Louis Snyder.

Snyder is a fisherman and a dad.

He hopes the FBI, Coast Guard, Toledo Police, or volunteer searchers find Baby Elaina safe and spared the gruesome fate of Nevaeh.

"I just wish they could find her and have her alive and there's nothing wrong with her," says Snyder.

Meanwhile, Elaina's mother is in the Lucas County Jail on a charge of child endangering.

Police say Angela Steinfurth admitted that Elaina was hurt and she failed to seek medical attention for the girl.

Steinfurth will be back in court on Thursday.

 

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