There's big news in the search for missing Ohio toddler Elaina Steinfurth today. The 18-month-old has been missing since June 2, and as of right now, she is still missing. But cops have hauled her mom, Angela Mories, off to jail.
But don't close the book on the little girl yet. Mories (who has previously been identified in some reports as Angela Steinfurth) wasn't arrested for the girl's disappearance.
So, it seems, are people in the Toledo area, where cops are alleging that little Elaina was hurt -- at some point in time -- and her mom failed to take her to the doctor. They've charged Angela Mories with child endangerment over that incident.
It's sad news.
And yet ... good news? People have been looking for this little girl for 11 days now, ever since dad Terry Steinfurth showed up at Mories' house to pick up his two daughters and was told that Elaina wasn't there.
Hand-in-hand with the search, cops have been interviewing everyone in the child's life over and over and over again, and yet all they've come up with is a child endangerment charge.
You know what that means?
That means they HAVEN'T come up with evidence that little Elaina is dead. It means there are no murder charges on the table. It means there is still hope in all of this.
We tend to jump to conclusions about these sort of missing child cases in America. How many times have you done it? You've watched an episode of Nancy Grace (who has sunk her claws into the Steinfurth story) and walked off thinking, "Oh, the mother did it!" or "Oooh, that grandfather, he looks like a killer."
But if this arrest teaches us anything, it's that we can't make assumptions like that, that we shouldn't make those kind of snap judgments.
Is a child endangerment arrest damning? Sure. But it's not a murder charge.
Let's let the police do their jobs here ... and hold out hope that this little girl will come home.
Have you been following the Elaina Steinfurth case? What are your thoughts on it?