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Retired North Tonawanda cop reads aloud Belstadt's differing statements

Retired North Tonawanda cop reads aloud Belstadt's differing statements

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Belstadt trial

Joseph H. Belstadt speaks with his attorney Michele G. Bergevin during his trial at the Angelo DelSignore Civic Building in Niagara Falls, Monday, Oct. 25, 2021.

Retired North Tonawanda Detective Edward Schintzius on Monday read aloud to a Niagara County Court jury the two statements Joseph H. Belstadt signed after Mandy Steingasser went missing in September 1993.

Steingasser's body was found Oct. 25, 1993, in a Lewiston park. An autopsy concluded she had been strangled.

Belstadt, now 46, is charged with murder in the slaying of the 17-year-old Steingasser. Belstadt told police he picked up Steingasser in his car on Oliver Street in North Tonawanda about 1 a.m. Sept. 19, 1993.

His first statement, on Sept. 22, said Steingasser was "staggering down Oliver Street. She was drunk." Belstadt said he offered to drive her home but she objected.

Belstadt said after stopping for a discussion, he let Steingasser out at a church, where "a kid was sitting on the steps."

The Sept. 22 statement said Belstadt then drove to Canada, but on Sept. 27, Belstadt admitted he didn't do that. He said he went to Dickie's Donuts in Tonawanda and then home.

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