Tuesday, July 22 2014 7:14 PM EDT2014-07-22 23:14:19 GMT
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Dozens gathered together in the memory of baby Elaina Steinfurth, as Monday marked one year since her disappearance was reported. They say they still feel a lot of pain and emotions from that day, but the message of the vigil helps with the healing process. The message they wish to spread is for the end of child abuse.
The heartbreak is keenly felt by those gathering tonight to remember the little girl at a candlelight vigil. They gathered near the home where she was discovered. The group prayed and supported each other, then released balloons in a nearby field.
Family and friends hope that by coming together in her memory they can help to spread a powerful message to end child abuse. Elaina's family says they will make sure this little girl's memory lives on forever in their Toledo neighborhood.
"I hurt now like I did then. It just brought back a lot of raw feelings coming back down here and to actually walk up to the house and the garage where she was found," said Terry Steinfurth Senior.
With tears in their eyes and this little girl on their mind, dozens of people came together Monday night to remember Elaina.
"She didn't deserve it. We don't forget this was a baby. It should have never happened," said Dan Clay.
Tonight friends and family members prayed and comforted each other.
"It kind of keeps us from falling apart, I'd say, and everybody needs a little support now and then," said Clay.
As much as this vigil was for support, organizers say they hope it sends a much bigger message to the community.
"Child abuse has to be stopped. Our plan here is to keep Elania's memory alive," said Clay.
"I hope we keep her name alive and do some good for someone else," said Steinfurth.
If you see or know of abuse or neglect, call Children Services immediately at 419-213-CARE. That line is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. You can also head to lucaskids.net
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 >>
730 North Summit Street
Toledo, OH 43604