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Police: Man wanted in rape and murder of baby hid in woods, hitchhiked before capture

CONNEAUT, Ohio — Authorities say the man wanted in connection with the rape and murder of a 13-month-old Ohio girl hid in the woods and hitchhiked before he was captured in Pennsylvania.

Joshua Gurto, 37, was taken into custody after he was spotted at a gas station near Pittsburgh.

KDKA-TV reports Joshua Gurto was captured in Pittsburgh’s Franklin Park section around 1:30 a.m. Friday and was taken to the Allegheny County Jail.

Gurto has been missing since earlier this month.

According to KFOR sister station WJW, authorities at a press conference Friday said Gurto was found with maps of Pennsylvania.

They believe he’d been hiding in woods before being picked up by the driver of a pick-up truck in Girard. Police say the truck driver didn’t know that Gurto was wanted.

The truck driver’s vehicle broke down about 20 miles north of Sewickley. Gurto was later arrested.

Aggravated murder and rape charges were filed earlier this month against the 37-year-old Gurto in the death of 13-month-old Sereniti Jazzlynn-Sky Blankenship-Sutley.

On Oct. 7, police responded to a call about an unresponsive child at an apartment in Conneaut, northeast of Cleveland. The girl had blunt-force injuries to her head and body. She died at a hospital.

Gurto is believed to be the boyfriend of the baby’s mother.

Conneaut police said Friday that they have dealt with Gurto in the past, but regarding “nothing too serious.”

This is a developing story.