Days after Kira Steger went missing in late February, a search of her abandoned car recovered divorce documents, while a search of her husband Jeffery Trevino’s vehicle recovered the address of a Maple Grove man Steger had been romantically linked to.
New details released Tuesday delve deeper into the marital discord between Steger, 30, and her husband, Jeffery Trevino, 39, who is charged with two counts of second-degree murder in her death.
On Wednesday morning, about 20 family members and friends gathered at the Ramsey County law enforcement center for a motion hearing in the murder case against Jeffery Trevino.
Prosecutors won a delay in the start of the trial, because Kira Steger's body was just recently discovered. The trial had been scheduled to start May 28, but the judge rescheduled it for July 22.
The last day Steger was seen alive, Feb. 21, she and Trevino had dinner and bowled at the Mall of America, although both had long complained to friends and family members that the relationship was faltering.
Steger, also known as Kira Trevino, but whose legal last name remained Steger after her marriage, exchanged “numerous” text messages that night with the Maple Grove man, who was out of town, according to an amended complaint filed in Ramsey County District Court.
Trevino allegedly kept tabs on his wife’s whereabouts by driving by her gym and checking her credit-card statements. On one occasion, he allegedly learned that she was at a bar instead of where she told Trevino she was, the complaint said.
Steger’s mother and friends told police she was trying to leave Trevino. Steger and Trevino gave notice Jan. 31 that they were vacating the rental house by April 1, and Steger had been looking for her own apartment, the complaint said.
At the time of Steger’s disappearance, Trevino told police that he and Steger went home after the mall and watched a movie. Steger fell asleep, and Trevino filled her car with gas about 2:15 a.m. on Feb. 22, he said. Trevino told police Steger left their rental home in the 500 block of E. Iowa Avenue between 8:30 a.m. and 9 a.m. on Feb. 22.
Surveillance video shows Steger’s car leaving the couple’s house at 9:15 a.m. on Feb. 22 and pulling into a mall ramp at 9:45 a.m.
Video surveillance and GPS show that someone took a cab from the mall back to the couple’s block, wearing a shirt that matched a shirt Trevino was videotaped wearing two hours earlier. The shirt later was recovered from the house, and tests showed a match between DNA on the shirt and Trevino, according to the complaint.
Steger didn’t show up to the gym, the tanning salon or her job that day as co-manager of clothing retailer Delia’s at the mall. She also didn’t make a scheduled phone interview for a potential new job.
On Trevino reported her missing to police on Feb. 24.
Authorities searched the couple’s home and cars on Feb. 25, finding a bloody trunk liner near Steger’s car and “blank court divorce forms apparently downloaded from the Internet” inside her purse in the car. Steger’s blood also was found inside the trunk, the complaint said.
“The investigators described Trevino as being upset that more officers had arrived,” the complaint said of police officers’ arrival at the home. “… Trevino asked what he was supposed to do with Steger’s belongings. The investigators thought this was an odd question … the question suggested that Trevino did not expect his wife to return.”
While police canvassed the neighborhood Feb. 25 for information about Steger, the complaint said, Trevino acted “nonchalantly” and told a homicide investigator he was going to dinner and would “probably catch a movie.”
Copious amounts of blood were found in the home, leading police to believe that Steger was dead even though her body would not be recovered until May 8.
Her blood also was found in a carpet cleaner in the house, which had been borrowed from her mother on Feb. 20.
Steger’s decomposed body was discovered by a barge mechanic in the Mississippi River near the Robert Street bridge in downtown St. Paul. The medical examiner’s office determined that she died of “homicidal violence.”
Chao Xiong • 612-270-4708