Medical examiner says woman may have been smothered

Published 10:09 am Thursday, September 26, 2013

ST. PAUL — A St. Paul woman whose body was found in the Mississippi River more than two months after she disappeared may have been smothered, a medical examiner testified Wednesday at the murder trial of the woman’s husband.

The Ramsey County medical examiner, Dr. Michael McGee, testified that 30-year-old Kira Steger died of homicidal violence, and that she suffered injuries indicating she could have been smothered, possibly by someone’s hand.

Steger’s husband, Jeffery Trevino, 39, is on trial on two counts of second-degree murder in her death. Steger was last seen alive on Feb. 21, and her body was recovered from the river in May.

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Steger’s body was in a state of “advanced decomposition,” and the skin on her palms and hands had sloughed off, McGee testified.

“You can tell she’s been in the water for a while,” he said.