Mother charged with her baby’s murder in Ashtabula County

ASHTABULA COUNTY, Ohio - Kelsie Marie Blankenship has been indicted on charges related to the death of her infant. That announcement came in a press conference by the Ashtabula prosecutor's office.

(L) Kelsie Blankenship (Photo Courtesy: Ashtabula County Jail); 13-month-old Sereniti Jazzlynn-Sky Blankenship-Sutley

The badly beaten body of 13-month-old Sereniti Jazzlynn-Sky Blankenship-Sutley was found in her Conneaut home on Clark Street on October 7, 2017. Investigators in Ashtabula County say she died of blunt force trauma to her head and body.

Kelsie's live-in boyfriend Joshua Gurto was previously charged with aggravated murder and rape. He is being held on a $1 million bond. He was indicted one month after Sereniti's death.

Following a nationwide manhunt, police arrested Gurto in Pennsyvlvania several weeks after the child's body was found. Police say he hitchhiked out of state and was found outside Pittsburgh after he was caught on a convenience store surveillance camera.

Conneaut Police arrested Kelsie Blankenship Friday morning. She faces two counts of murder, one count of felonious assault, three counts of endangering children, and one count of domestic violence.

Ashtabula County prosecutors are looking to dismiss the death penalty motion against Gurto as a result of the indictment on Blankenship.

Ashtabula County Prosecutor Nicholas Iarocci would not comment on whether Gurto implicated Blankenship in the murder.

Iarocci said Blankenship has been a person of interest throughout the investigation and has been cooperative with authorities.

"Our ultimate goal with the indictments against both Blankenship and Gurto is to obtain justice for Sereniti, and nothing else," Iarocci said. "This poor child was brutally beaten and raped, and my office and law enforcement is doing and will continue to do everything in our power to secure justice for a child whose spirit lives on in each of us handling the case."

Blankenship has a history of drug charges. Iarocci said she went through Ashtabula County's drug court program.

Blankenship is being held in the Ashtabula County Jail. She is scheduled to be arranged on the charges in Ashtabula County Tuesday, October 23rd.

This is a developing story. Stay with Fox 8 and for continuing updates.

For our previous coverage on this story click here.

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