Details of Disappearance
Steele was last seen on May 1, 2008. At 2:00 p.m., she left the home she shared with her mother in the 1100 block of Webster Street in Schenectady, New York. She said she would be back in two hours to pick up her two young children and go to a barbecue.
Steele cashed a check and ran some personal errands. She never returned home and has never been heard from again. She did not have a car at the time of her disappearance.
Her life before her disappearance had been troubled. She was raised mostly in foster care and, as an adult, she worked for a time at a strip club and allegedly sold marijuana on occasion. She accused her youngest child's father of rape, and his trial was supposed to start in May 2009, the same month Steele disappeared. She was supposed to testify against him. The man was reportedly in jail when she disappeared.
The day she vanished, Steele told a female friend that she was pregnant and would see the doctor that same day to find out how far the pregnancy had progressed. She apparently did arrive for her doctor's appointment.
In mid-April 2009, about two weeks before she went missing, Steele asked her half-sister to take care of two of her four children for a month. Steele's half-sister said she would only do so if she were given legal temporary custody. Steele refused to do that. Her brother offered to take the children instead, but she turned him down.
After Steele's disappearance, her two older children were placed with their father, Steele's ex-husband; the younger two were placed with their grandmother. It's uncharacteristic of Steele to leave without warning or abandon her children.
She owned a prepaid cellular phone that disappeared with her. The police tried the number several times after her disappearance and the cell phone kept functioning for awhile, but no calls were ever made from it. She was receiving disability payments for a back injury and the checks continued to come in the mail after she went missing.
Steele's case remains unsolved.