Biological Father of Murdered Infant Speaks Out Following Accuse - Erie News Now | WICU & WSEE in Erie, PA


Biological Father of Murdered Infant Speaks Out Following Accused Killer’s Arrest

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Andrew Payne is experiencing every parent's worst nightmare.

On October 7, his 13-month-old daughter Sereniti Sutley was raped and murdered.

"That baby needs justice,” said Payne.  “Hopefully he gets what he deserves.”

After nearly three weeks on the run, her accused killer, 37-year-old Joshua Gurto was arrested early Friday morning near Pittsburgh, after being spotted near a Sheetz in Franklin Park.

“We made his world with you guys (media) very small and that's what made a difference,” said U.S. Marshal Pete Elliott.  “He really had nowhere to run and nowhere to hide."

After conducting a DNA test, Payne found out that he was Sereniti's father.

“I just found out that she's mine two days ago,” said Payne.   “I'm not going to have her in my life now.”

Gurto is accused of raping and killing Sereniti, who was his girlfriend Kelsie Blankenship's daughter.

Erie News Now went to her apartment to speak with her, but according to her neighbor, she's been evicted.

"They have evicted her,” said Blackenship’s neighbor Billie Jo Compton.  “I feel really terrible, because now, not only has she lost her daughter, but now, she's got to find a new place."

With her accused killer now in jail, Sereniti's father hopes for one outcome.

"I hope that he gets what he deserves,” said Payne.  “There is nothing else in this world I want more, than justice for Sereniti."

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