Suspect in rape, murder of 13-month-old arrested in Pittsburgh area

Suspect Arrested In Rape And Murder Of 13-Month-Old

Joshua Gurto, the Ohio man charged with the rape and murder of a 13-month-old girl, has been arrested after a nationwide manhunt. He was spotted near a Sheetz gas station in Franklin Park and has been taken to the Allegheny County Jail.

The search left many people in the area uneasy, as a quiet community was the center of a multi-state manhunt.

“It's very disturbing,” said Jennifer Ropchack. “I work with children as a nurse and I do in-home care so anything to do with children is very upsetting to me.”

WPXI obtained pictures of Gurto on Thursday afternoon, showing him buying food at the Sheetz gas station on Mt. Nebo Road in Ohio Township on Wednesday around 4 p.m.

Joshua Gurto (left) and an unknown male (right) were seen October 13 in Girard, PA. (Photo: U.S. Marshals Service)

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Investigators say he had been on the run for nearly three weeks and was likely traveling on foot with a large backpack.

On Thursday night, WPXI saw more than a dozen sheriff's deputies with the Allegheny County Sheriff's office gathering at that Sheetz.

The manhunt also included several agencies from Ohio and the U.S. Marshals Service.

“They're in the area too and taking a look at everything,” said Ohio Township police Chief Norbert Miklos. “We're all working together what we can figure out with this.”

Someone recognized Gurto inside Sheetz, sparking the manhunt.

“Very scary. It's very scary that this is happening,” said Ropchack.

At Avonworth Elementary School, which is very near the search area, administrators told parents police will be on hand Friday morning to provide extra security to children heading to school.

Around the same time, at sunrise, was when the search was expected to pick up steam again.