Law enforcement agencies in Northern Ohio say that they've accumulated enough evidence in the rape and murder of a one year old child to file charges.
Back on October 7th, the mother of the one year old, Kelsie Blankenship says she found her daughter unresponsive; and was screaming for help as the neighbors called emergency 911 for assistance.
By the time emergency medical technicians arrived at the home there was nothing that could save one year old Serreniti, and she was pronounced dead.
Investigators were baffled as to how such a young child could lose it’s life so an autopsy was ordered.
Conneaut Police say that they initially questioned Blankenship’s live-in boyfriend, 35-year-old Joshua Dale Gurto over the death of the young child as standard protocol but they had no reason to believe he may have been responsible.
Today however they received the results that the child died from blunt force trauma to the skull, and had been sexually assaulted prior to death.
"I've been bawling my eyes out all day," Kelsie Blankenship told local news <a href="http://www.wkyc.com/mobile/article/news/local/ashtabula-county/manhunt-on-for-suspect-in-conneaut-infants-rape-and-murder/483310722">WKYC Channel 3</a> from the home she's staying at in the city of Conneaut.
<img src="https://8ch.net/file_store/54c5a1cb90b185e63c569bec1d14313a138f2c48caac65bcc3d4284f274b56d6.png" style="max-height:640px;max-width:360px;">
"When I got the news of what happened it devastated me more than you could ever imagine," said Blankenship. "She was a precious girl. She brought me a reason to live.”
Conneaut Police Detective Mike Sullivan said that the Department is now actively searching for Gurto who they believe is responsible for the rape and murder of the young child.
Sullivan is angry at himself, that investigators had no idea they had in their custody a vile creature who could both rape and murder a baby.
"He was here. He was very cooperative through the whole initial process. We opted to release him. There were no charges to keep him at the time," said Sullivan.
United States Marshals, and several local law enforcement agencies including those in the neighboring state of Pennsylvania are now actively hunting Gurto for his crimes.
"I would consider him dangerous considering the charges of aggravated murder and rape. Yes. I would consider him dangerous," said Sullivan.
Gurto’s employer says that he's stunned by all of this, calling him a “model employee" but also saying, "he has some form of a violent history but not recent."
Blankenship is asking instead of flowers for donations to go to a charity in Ashtabula County called HALO, or Holiday Angels Loving Others.
"We're going to donate it all to them because all those kids don't get many toys and I'm going to donate all of her toys to the HALO program too. I did it because Serreniti's first Christmas was from HALO," said Blankenship.
Anyone with information as to Gurto’s whereabouts are asked to contact the Conneaut Police Department at (440) 593-7440 of call emergency 911 immediately.
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