Conneaut man held on $1M bond on charges of raping, murdering 1-year-old

Family members of Sereniti Jazzlyn-Sky Blankenship-Sutley in courtoom at Joshua Gurto's hearing. (Source: WOIO)
Family members of Sereniti Jazzlyn-Sky Blankenship-Sutley in courtoom at Joshua Gurto's hearing. (Source: WOIO)
Family members of Sereniti Jazzlyn-Sky Blankenship-Sutley in courtoom at Joshua Gurto's hearing. (Source: WOIO)
Family members of Sereniti Jazzlyn-Sky Blankenship-Sutley in courtoom at Joshua Gurto's hearing. (Source: WOIO)
Joshua Gurto, 37, faces the death penalty if convicted. (Source: Conneaut police)
Joshua Gurto, 37, faces the death penalty if convicted. (Source: Conneaut police)

CONNEAUT, OH (WOIO) - A Conneaut man's bond was set at $1 million after being charged with raping and murdering 13-month-old on Oct. 7. The charges include a possible death sentence.

Joshua Gurto, 37, was arraigned in an Ashtabula County courtroom Friday.

He's accused in the death of his girlfriend's daughter, Sereniti Jazzlyn-Sky Blankenship-Sutley.

"Mr. Gurto is a flight risk as evident from his 3 week hiatus after being initially interviewed by the police and having had required the involvement of the US Marshal service to locate him," Ashtabula County Prosecutor Nicholas Iarocci said.

Gurto was indicted on Nov. 7 on the following charges:

  • Two counts of Aggravated Murder
  • Three counts of Murder
  • One count of Rape
  • One count of Felonious Assault
  • One count of Domestic Violence

Conneaut Police and EMS were called to a home on the 500 block of Clark Street after Sereniti went into cardiac arrest.

The child was rushed to UH Medical Center Conneaut where she was pronounced dead several hours later.

The coroner says the child died of blunt trauma to the head.

After spending 20 days on the run, Gurto was arrested on Oct. 27.

He was found just outside of Pittsburgh in a Sheetz gas station parking lot at 1:30 a.m. in Alleghany County, Pennsylvania.

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