Ashtabula County man convicted in child rape, murder linked to another rape case

Ohio

Joshua Gurto was indicted by an Ashtabula County grand jury

A man from Conneaut is facing rape charges linked to a cold case from 2004.

CONNEAUT, Ohio (WKBN) – A man from Conneaut is facing rape charges linked to a cold case from 2004.

Joshua Gurto was indicted by an Ashtabula County grand jury on several charges including rape, aggravated burglary and felonious assault.

Gurto also was previously indicted in the 2017 rape and murder of a 1-year-old victim. 

He was picked up in Western Pennsylvania by an officer who recognized him from a social media post.

Investigators with the Conneaut Police Department and the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation reviewed the 2004 rape case and resubmitted evidence for testing.

“This case is a great example of how much we can accomplish when we work together,” said Prosecutor Cecilia Cooper. “Victims of cold cases should never give up hope.”

 In this case, evidence had been originally located by Chief Colby’s late K9 partner, Nik, but forensic testing in 2004 was inconclusive. Old-fashioned police work, combined with further DNA analysis, was able to match the offender’s DNA profile to Gurto. 

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