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TOLEDO, OH (Toledo News Now) -
In a press conference Friday morning, Toledo Police Chief Derrick Diggs says they believe they have found the remains of missing baby Elaina Steinfurth.
"We wanted to find the body and we wanted to find that baby and we did," said Diggs.
Police, FBI agents, and Lucas County Prosecutor Julia Bates were at the press conference, but were unable to disclose specific details because the case is still active. The Bureau of Criminal Investigation is also taking part in the active investigation.
"It is an ongoing investigation, and it is an active investigation at this time, and there's many things that we can't discuss at this time," said Diggs. "The bottom line is, we found what we believe may be baby Elaina. We're going to continue to conduct our investigation to bring those responsible to justice."
On Thursday, Toledo Police removed a box containing human remains from a garage near Steven King's home at 704 Federal Street in east Toledo. King is the estranged boyfriend of Angela Steinfurth, mother of 1-year-old Elaina, who has been missing since June 2, 2013. An exclusive Toledo News Now source with knowledge of the investigation, said investigators removed a package from a garage in an alley off Prentice Street in east Toledo and turned it over to the Lucas County Coroner's Office.
Search warrants had been conducted at the house in the past, but Thursday's search warrant - based on information obtained during the investigation - led them to the garage for reasons unknown at this time.
"We're not going to get into all of this how many times we checked that. You know, we had a lot of deception taking place, being told to us by a variety of sources in this community, and because of that, we took the investigation where we thought it should go," explained Diggs.
Police say the home, garage, Maumee River and every place in between had been searched, and although the remains in the house may prove to be a big piece in the puzzle, there is still more work to be done.
At the press conference Friday, police said the area was "tough to search," and the box was located in the far corner on a shelf in rafters. Cadaver dogs were brought to the scene, but due to the condition of the property, dogs were not allowed to go inside.
Later Thursday, Lucas County Coroner James Patrick confirmed that the box did contain human remains. At the press conference Friday, police said they found "immature skeletal remains."
The remains were autopsied Friday morning at the Lucas County Coroner's Office to determine the identity.
Dr. Diane Scala-Barnett and Dr. Julie Saul, from the Lucas County Coroner's Office, released the following statement Friday afternoon:
"The box, recovered from the upper level of the garage located at 704 Federal, contains immature human skeletal remains. Because the skeletal remains are so immature, it is not possible to determine the sex of the deceased therefore DNA is necessary.
"DNA samples have already been submitted to BCI for analysis. DNA is the most accurate and scientific procedure to confirm identity and sex in this case.
"Anthropologic examination is still ongoing.
"Toxicology is pending.
"Cause and manner of death will be assigned when all parts of the autopsy have been completed."
While the investigation continues and the coroner works to get an official identification, Steven King and Angela Steinfurth remain behind bars on obstruction of justice charges. At this time, no additional charges have been filed against either.
King had his final pretrial hearing Thursday. His trial is set for Sept. 16.
Steinfurth appeared in court for a pretrial hearing Wednesday, but it was postponed again. Her trial date still has not been scheduled.
Elaina's father, Terry Steinfurth Jr., is just hoping for closure.
"I'm still holding onto hope it's not her, but if anything, you have to be realistic to some degree too...Just being hopeful," said Steinfurth.
Steinfurth understands that police are doing whatever they can so justice will be served, but family members still want answers.
"I'm hoping for answers to know exactly what's going on right now. Everything's speculation, so I'm hoping for the best," said Steinfurth.
Stay with Toledo News Now for more on this breaking news story.
Toddler Elaina Steinfurth was missing for months before her remains were found in an east Toledo garage. Two people are charged in the case, as the rest of the family and community waits for justice.More >>
Toddler Elaina Steinfurth was missing for months before her remains were found in an east Toledo garage. Two people are charged in the case, as the rest of the family - and community - waits for justice.More >>
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