Community remembers Elaina Steinfurth one year later - 13abc.com Toledo (OH) News, Weather and Sports

Community remembers Elaina Steinfurth one year later

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At least twice a week, Terry Steinfurth still drives down the street where little Elaina stayed.  The grandfather says the hole she left in his heart has never been filled.

"I just know she should be here and she's not," says Terry.  "It hits home real hard. Even today."

Monday, June 2 marked exactly one year since the 18-month-old was reported missing.  For months people marched around her home and the city demanding answers.  Her body was found three months later in a small box in an East Toledo garage.

The one year anniversary was about honoring the short life of Elaina Steinfurth.  Despite the tragic outcome, community members say the local searches and prayer vigils brought them closer together.

"It's bittersweet in one aspect but it's also still heartbreaking," says Risa Smith with the Justice for Neveah organization.  Group members from the organization worked hard to find Elaina back in 2013. 

"It's nice because it shows the community does care. Unfortunately, it was because of a heartbreaking situation."

Richard Schiewe spent the last year dealing with two losses.  One being little Elaina and the second the incarceration of his daughter, Angela Steinfurth.  Elaina's mother and her ex-boyfriend Steven King were sentenced to life in prison with the eligibility of parole, for Elaina's homicide.  Richard still talks to his daughter every week and maintains she did not kill Elaina.

"She didn't kill her baby and I've said that time and time again," says Schiewe.  "She'll never ever be forgotten."

Family members say the Toledo toddler left a mark that can never be erased.  Helping other kids avoid her tragic outcome is a new legacy they want to leave behind.

"Sometime or another it's got to stop," says Terry Steinfurth.  "Kids shouldn't go through this."

Donations can still be made at any Genoa Bank branch to 'Elaina's Fund', which is a designated account for Elaina's older sister, Kylee.  Also, the proceeds from an annual motorcycle ride in Elaina's memory will go to the 'Justice for Neveah' organization that still works to find the person who killed little Neveah Buchanan five years ago.


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