CONNEAUT, Ohio -- The U.S. Marshals are looking for 37-year-old Joshua Gurto. He is wanted for the rape and murder of 13-month-old Sereniti Sutley of Conneaut, Ohio. The girl died of blunt force trauma on Oct. 7.
Joseph Summers of Millcreek Township said, "I think people here know to keep an eye out for him. At least I hope they do. He looks kind of distinguishing."
Conneaut resident Levi Stewart said, "We need to find him first and foremost, because I believe that justice has to be served in whatever manner the law finds just."
Gurto was spotted on surveillance cameras a week later in Girard with another man, but he was hitchhiking, according to the U.S. Marshals.
"I was just really surprised that there was a sighting of him around here, and that there hasn't been anything else since,” said Summers.
As the manhunt continues, the Conneaut Police Department is assisting in the investigation and fielding numerous calls.
Conneaut Police Sgt. Curtis Distel said, "The tips come in here and the tips come in to the Marshals, but (if) you pass the guy. 'Hey, I think that that was him.' Please contact your local law enforcement immediately. Someone that can get there immediately."
If you observe Gurto, he said, do not engage him.
"Obviously, someone like this--that's on the run--they can be desperate. I wouldn't approach that subject. Let the law enforcement approach him."
Residents across two states said capturing the person responsible could be the first step toward justice for Sereniti.
"Lately, I've been seeing a lot of anger; and naturally, people would feel some kind of disgust, because that is just a child and a child is kind and caring,” said Stewart.
"It would be nice to see him somewhere,” said Summers. “Not in the public for sure."
Meanwhile, as frustration spreads throughout his community, Stewart called for healing.
“Obviously, this situation is a terrible situation, but God will be forgiving; and then, we should, as well.”
Anyone with information is asked to call the U.S. Marshal’s Northern Ohio Task Force at 866-4-WANTED.
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