(Re-Edited/Re-Released) Episode 21: Sereniti Sutley

On October 7, 2017, 22-year-old Kelsie Blankenship burst out of her Conneaut, Ohio apartment, carrying the limp body of her almost-13-month-old daughter, Sereniti, and screaming for help. It was too late, however, and Sereniti was pronounced dead at the hospital. After both Kelsie and her live-in boyfriend, 37-year-old Joshua Gurto, were questioned, Joshua went on the run, resulting in a 3-week manhunt that culminated with his capture in Franklin Park, Pennsylvania. He was charged with the rape and murder of his girlfriend’s baby girl. A full year later, Kelsie Blankenship was apparently blindsided when she, too, was arrested in connection with her daughter’s death.

This is the horrific story of Sereniti Sutley.

(Note: This episode was originally released in July of 2020. This version has been re-edited for re-release.)

Photos related to today’s episode can be viewed on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/sufferthelittlechildrenpod

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My Linktree is available here.

Please help make the show my full-time gig to keep the weekly episodes coming! By supporting me on Patreon, you’ll also access rewards, including a shout-out by name on the podcast and exclusive gifts. Pledges of $5 or more per month access ad-free versions of my regular Wednesday episodes (starting with episode #88). Pledges of $10 or more per month access a small but growing collection of Patreon-exclusive bonus minisodes!

This podcast is researched, written, hosted, edited, and produced by Laine.

For more stories like this one, visit Suffer the Little Children Blog.

Music for this episode is from Audio Jungle.

Subscribe to Suffer the Little Children on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Stitcher, Spreaker, Pandora, Spotify, iHeartRadio, or your favorite podcast listening platform.

Episode 122: Sereniti Deserves Justice

Two years ago in episode 21, I told you the story of one-year-old Sereniti Sutley, whose mother found her gravely injured in her crib on the morning of October 7, 2017. Sereniti was rushed to the hospital in Conneaut, Ohio, where she was pronounced dead. 

Although almost five years have passed since Sereniti’s death, the man accused of her murder, Joshua Gurto, still has not faced a jury for his crimes. In July of 2022, Ashtabula County Prosecutor Colleen O’Toole filed a motion with the court to dismiss six of the eight charges against him and to drop his remaining murder charge to mere involuntary manslaughter.

In this episode, you’ll hear my conversation with Sereniti’s great-aunt, Bobbie Blankenship; grandma, Melissa Sutley; and dad, Brandon Sutley, who shared with me their frustration over the length of the court process and the unwillingness of the current prosecutor to seek justice for the little princess they lost almost five years ago.

Sereniti deserves justice.

Links discussed in this episode: 

Justice for Sereniti rally

Contact Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost

Contact Ohio Governor Mike DeWine 

Write to visiting Judge Patricia Cosgrove c/o April Daniels, Clerk of Courts 

Contact Ashtabula County Prosecutor Colleen O’Toole 

OUR VIEW opinion article

Article about family’s reaction

Photos related to today’s episode can be viewed on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/sufferthelittlechildrenpod

You can also follow the podcast on Instagram, Twitter, Tumblr, Pinterest, and TikTok.

My Linktree is available here.

Please help make the show my full-time gig to keep the weekly episodes coming! By supporting me on Patreon, you’ll also access rewards, including a shout-out by name on the podcast and exclusive gifts. Pledges of $5 or more per month access ad-free versions of my regular Wednesday episodes (starting with episode #88). Pledges of $10 or more per month access a small but growing collection of Patreon-exclusive bonus minisodes!

This podcast is researched, written, hosted, edited, and produced by Laine.

For more stories like this one, visit Suffer the Little Children Blog.

Music for this episode is from Audio Jungle.

Subscribe to Suffer the Little Children on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Stitcher, Spreaker, Pandora, Spotify, iHeartRadio, or your favorite podcast listening platform.

Episode 121: Emrik Osuna

When an unresponsive nine-year-old boy died shortly after his arrival at a hospital in Boise, Idaho, it was obvious there was nothing natural about his death. Emrik Osuna was severely emaciated at barely forty pounds and covered from head to toe in extensive bruising. Police discovered hours of footage from nanny cameras set up in the family’s apartment that sealed the fates of Emrik’s killers.

Erik and Monique Osuna, Emrik’s father and stepmother, were both arrested. Monique was accused of systematically torturing Emrik for months, forcing him to exercise for hours, beating him with various objects, and withholding food while the rest of the family ate in front of the starving boy. Erik was accused of watching and doing nothing while his wife tortured his son to death.

In this episode, we also hear from Irene Zepeda, Emrik’s maternal aunt, who told me about some of the challenges Emrik faced and shared her favorite memories of her beloved nephew.

This is the unimaginable story of Emrik Osuna.

Photos related to today’s episode can be viewed on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/sufferthelittlechildrenpod

You can also follow the podcast on Instagram, Twitter, Tumblr, Pinterest, and TikTok.

My Linktree is available here.

Please help make the show my full-time gig to keep the weekly episodes coming! By supporting me on Patreon, you’ll also access rewards, including a shout-out by name on the podcast and exclusive gifts. Pledges of $5 or more per month access ad-free versions of my regular Wednesday episodes (starting with episode #88). Pledges of $10 or more per month access a small but growing collection of Patreon-exclusive bonus minisodes!

This podcast is researched, written, hosted, edited, and produced by Laine.

For more stories like this one, visit Suffer the Little Children Blog.

Music for this episode is from Audio Jungle.

Subscribe to Suffer the Little Children on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Stitcher, Spreaker, Pandora, Spotify, iHeartRadio, or your favorite podcast listening platform.

Episode 120: Moko Rangitoheriri Revisited

In episodes 111 and 112, I told you the story of three-year-old Moko Rangitoheriri, who died on August 10, 2015 while in the care of a woman his mother considered a friend. Moko is well known in New Zealand as one of the country’s worst cases of child abuse, but Moko himself was so much more than that.

For this episode, I was honored to speak with Moko’s mum, Nicola Dally-Paki, who told me all about her headstrong little boy, who was wise beyond his young age and who packed a lifetime of experiences into his three short years. She also told me about her experiences since Moko’s death, how it feels to be recognizable everywhere she goes, and the ways she strives to protect other children like Moko.

This is the story of Moko Rangitoheriri, revisited.

Photos related to today’s episode can be viewed on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/sufferthelittlechildrenpod

You can also follow the podcast on Instagram, Twitter, Tumblr, Pinterest, and TikTok.

My Linktree is available here.

Please help make the show my full-time gig to keep the weekly episodes coming! By supporting me on Patreon, you’ll also access rewards, including a shout-out by name on the podcast and exclusive gifts. Pledges of $5 or more per month access ad-free versions of my regular Wednesday episodes (starting with episode #88). Pledges of $10 or more per month access a small but growing collection of Patreon-exclusive bonus minisodes!

This podcast is researched, written, hosted, edited, and produced by Laine.

For more stories like this one, visit Suffer the Little Children Blog.

Music for this episode is from Audio Jungle.

Subscribe to Suffer the Little Children on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Stitcher, Spreaker, Pandora, Spotify, iHeartRadio, or your favorite podcast listening platform.

Episode 119: Giovanni Melton (Part 2)

Last week, I told you the story of 14-year-old Giovanni Melton, who was shot to death by his father on November 2, 2017. Wendell Melton claimed the shooting was an accident, but many, including Giovanni’s mother, believe the murder was perpetrated by a man who couldn’t stand having a gay son. 

In this episode, you’ll hear my conversation with Giovanni’s mom, Veronica Melton, who has channeled her grief and anger at the senseless murder of her baby into advocating for other LGBTQ+ youth of color with the hope of preventing future such tragedies.

This is part two of the heartbreaking story of  Giovanni Melton.

Giovanni Melton Foundation website: https://giovannimelton.org/ 

Giovanni Melton Foundation on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/GiovanniMeltonFoundation.org/

Giovanni Melton Foundation on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/giovannimeltonfoundation/?hl=en

Moms Demand Action: https://momsdemandaction.org/ 

Everytown Survivor Network: https://www.everytown.org/organization/survivor-network/

National Action Network: https://nationalactionnetwork.net/

Photos related to today’s episode can be viewed on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/sufferthelittlechildrenpod

You can also follow the podcast on Instagram, Twitter, Tumblr, Pinterest, and TikTok.

My Linktree is available here.

Please help make the show my full-time gig to keep the weekly episodes coming! By supporting me on Patreon, you’ll also access rewards, including a shout-out by name on the podcast and exclusive gifts. Pledges of $5 or more per month access ad-free versions of my regular Wednesday episodes (starting with episode #88). Pledges of $10 or more per month access a small but growing collection of Patreon-exclusive bonus minisodes!

This podcast is researched, written, hosted, edited, and produced by Laine.

For more stories like this one, visit Suffer the Little Children Blog.

Music for this episode is from Audio Jungle.

Subscribe to Suffer the Little Children on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Stitcher, Spreaker, Pandora, Spotify, iHeartRadio, or your favorite podcast listening platform.

Episode 118: Giovanni Melton (Part 1)

On November 2, 2017, a tearful man called 911, telling the dispatcher he had shot his teenage son. Wendell Melton claimed that during an altercation with his 14-year-old son, Giovanni Melton, his gun accidentally went off, striking Giovanni in the chest. Giovanni was rushed to the hospital, but he did not survive.

After Giovanni’s death, multiple people came forward with information indicating the killing was not an accident, instead the deliberate action of a homophobic father who couldn’t tolerate having a gay son.

In next week’s episode, we’ll hear from Giovanni’s mom, Veronica Melton, who has channeled her grief and anger into advocating for LGBTQ+ youth of color with the hope of preventing tragedies like her family’s.

This is part one of the heartbreaking story of Giovanni Melton. 

Links discussed in this episode:

***Urgent! Please see this post for more information on how to contact Judge Michelle Leavitt before Friday, July 1, 2022 to make your voice heard for Wendell Melton’s sentencing hearing! https://www.facebook.com/photo?fbid=1242273556547448&set=a.121744861933662 ***

Giovanni Melton Foundation website: https://giovannimelton.org/ 

Giovanni Melton Foundation on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/GiovanniMeltonFoundation.org/

Giovanni Melton Foundation on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/giovannimeltonfoundation/?hl=en

PFLAG: https://pflag.org 

National Black Justice Coalition: https://nbjc.org

Counter Narrative Project: https://thecounternarrative.org 

Strong Family Alliance: https://strongfamilyalliance.org

Moms Demand Action: https://momsdemandaction.org/ 

Everytown Survivor Network: https://www.everytown.org/organization/survivor-network/

National Action Network: https://nationalactionnetwork.net/

Photos related to today’s episode can be viewed on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/sufferthelittlechildrenpod

You can also follow the podcast on Instagram, Twitter, Tumblr, Pinterest, and TikTok.

My Linktree is available here.

Please help make the show my full-time gig to keep the weekly episodes coming! By supporting me on Patreon, you’ll also access rewards, including a shout-out by name on the podcast and exclusive gifts. Pledges of $5 or more per month access ad-free versions of my regular Wednesday episodes (starting with episode #88). Pledges of $10 or more per month access a small but growing collection of Patreon-exclusive bonus minisodes!

This podcast is researched, written, hosted, edited, and produced by Laine.

For more stories like this one, visit Suffer the Little Children Blog.

Music for this episode is from Audio Jungle.

Subscribe to Suffer the Little Children on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Stitcher, Spreaker, Pandora, Spotify, iHeartRadio, or your favorite podcast listening platform.