Search for Kira Trevino comes to an end


Kira Trevino

Corpse found in Mississippi River

A body that was pulled from the Mississippi River near Robert Street in St. Paul on Wednesday, May 8, has been identified as Kira Trevino, 30.

A resident who works in the area saw the body floating in the river and notified police at about 1:30 p.m. May 8. The St. Paul Fire Department responded by boat and removed the heavily decomposed corpse from between two barges.

The body was taken to the Ramsey County Medical Examiner's Office, where it was identified as Kira Trevino. Police would not release any information as to the nature of her death.

Senior Commander Brian Coyle of the St. Paul Homicide Unit said in a press conference on Thursday, May 9, that although the circumstances of Kira Trevino's death cannot yet be discussed, police were relieved to have located her body.

"This is not a day to celebrate. We finally know where Kira is. It's a day to express our appreciation for everyone who helped in this investigation.

"I'm sure the family is feeling mixed emotions. There's a sense of loss. Our hearts and minds are with you," Coyle said.

Kira's parents, Marcie Steger and Jay Steger, who live in central Wisconsin, had been notified, but police were unsure Thursday afternoon if Trevino's husband, Jeffery, 39, knew a body had been located.

Coyle said that investigators put hundreds of hours into the search, but their work is not over.

"The investigation doesn't stop just because Kira was found," Coyle said.

A statement from Dennis Gerhardstein, spokesman for the Ramsey County Attorney's Office, said: "We are grateful that the body of Kira Steger (Trevino) has been recovered for the sake of her family and all those that loved her."

Victim disappeared Feb. 21

Jeffery Trevino has been charged with two counts of second-degree murder. He pleaded not guilty to both charges and his trial is scheduled to begin May 28.

Before the discovery, the prosecution had planned to move forward on the trial without a body, but Coyle said the uncovered evidence would be added to the criminal complaint.

Kira Trevino was last seen publicly Feb. 21. Jeffery Trevino reported his wife missing on Feb. 24, and detectives said they discovered enough blood in the couple’s home on the East Side of St. Paul to presume Kira had been murdered.

According to the criminal complaint, there was also evidence that someone had attempted to clean the bloodstains with bleach and other cleaning supplies, including a carpet cleaning machine.

The couple also lived with a roommate, Matthew Roff, who has not been mentioned as a person of interest in the case. Investigators have issued a search warrant for his Facebook account records in hopes that his online communications with Jeffery Trevino might yield critical information.

A search warrant also was obtained for Kira and Jeffery Trevino's Facebook account records. A friend reported that Jeffery Trevino had included the acronym "NWNP" in several posts after Kira was reported missing. The friend thought it stood for "No Witnesses, No Proof,".

Acquaintances reported the couple were having marital problems and planned to move into separate residences on April 1. Kira had also experienced a series of car problems, which the complaint describes as "deliberate sabotage."

Volunteer searchers expressed their relief that Kira's body had been found on the "Justice for Kira Steger Trevino" Facebook page, many saying "Rest in Peace, Kira."

Searches in the past had focused on Keller Lake Regional Park in Maplewood, where volunteer searchers discovered a bag filled with bloody items that matched Kira Trevino's DNA profile in mid-March.

This is not the first time police have searched the Mississippi River. In mid-April, they looked for Kira's body near the Interstate-494 Wakota Bridge in South St. Paul.

Johanna Holub can be reached at jholub@lillienews.com or 651-748-7814.

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