PITTSBURGH (KDKA/AP) – A manhunt is underway in the Pittsburgh area for the man suspected of raping and murdering a 13-month-old Ohio girl.
KDKA-TV has learned that state police are searching for Joshua Gurto, 37, in the North Hills of Pittsburgh.
He was last seen at a Sheetz on Mt. Nebo Road in Ohio Township around 4:30 p.m. Wednesday.
Gurto was wearing a camouflage jacket, black pants and a black baseball hat. He was carrying a camouflage backpack. He was seen leaving Sheetz and walking north on Red Mud Hollow Road, which runs parallel to I-79.
State police ask anyone who may have seen a man walking along I-79 between the Neville Island Bridge and Wexford between 4:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. Wednesday to contact Pennsylvania Crime Stoppers at 1-800-472-8477.
Police were searching the woods along I-79 where neighbors believe Gurto had been camping out.
The manhunt has people living in the area of Mt. Nebo Road on high alert.
Cheryl Johnston was walking her dog, Maizey, Thursday evening, after getting home from work. She lives in a residential area not far from the convenience store where Gurto was seen about 24 hours earlier.
“I heard from a neighbor this morning that a suspected killer had been sighted at the Sheetz down the road from us,” Johnston said. “I was concerned. We have a lot of little children around here. I’m glad I’m home. I’ll be locking my doors tonight.”
KDKA’s Ralph Iannotti Reports —
A few blocks away, Deanine Ledonne was walking her friend, Melissa Vaughn to her parked car near Ledonne’s home.
“I think this is crazy what’s going on, and it’s kind of scary because we work around here, and to know there’s somebody out there like that, it makes you kind of nervous,”Ledonne said.
Gurto is wanted in the aggravated murder and rape of 13-month-old Serreniti JazzLynn-Sky Sutley.
Police say they responded Oct. 7 to call about an unresponsive child at an apartment complex in Conneaut, roughly 70 miles northeast of Cleveland. They say the girl was taken to a hospital where she was pronounced dead.
The Ashtabula County Coroner says the child had blunt-force injuries to her head and body.
Marshals say Gurto was spotted in the Erie area a week after the murder.
The U.S. Marshal’s office released an image taken Oct. 13 by a surveillance camera inside a Girard, Pennsylvania, store.
Gurto is 5-feet-10-inches tall and weighs 150 pounds. He has brown hair and hazel eyes.
A $5,000 reward has been offered by the Northern Ohio Violent Fugitive Task Force for information that leads to Gurto’s capture. People with information regarding Gurto’s whereabouts can contact the Conneaut Police Department at 593-7440 or 593-7423 (for anonymous tips); or the U.S. Marshal’s office at 1-866-4WANTED or text keyword WANTED and tip to 84711 (tip411).
(© Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)