Police in Ohio have offered a reward for information to track the whereabouts of a "dangerous" fugitive who they believed raped and murdered his girlfriend's 13-month-old daughter.

The Northern Ohio Violent Fugitive Task Force is offering up to $5,000 (£3,795) for information that leads to the arrest of Joshua Dale Gurto.

The 37-year-old is charged with the rape and aggravated murder of Sereniti Blankenship-Sutley who was found in her home in Conneaut, Ohio.

Police say that she suffered a heart attack after a heavy blow to the head. They initially quizzed Gurto, following the toddler's death on 7 October, but released him without charge.

Conneaut Detective Michael Sullivan said, WTOL reports: "I would consider him dangerous, with charges of aggravated murder and rape, yes, I would consider him dangerous."

On the day of the child's death police went to the family apartment at about 5am on a report of an unresponsive toddler.

Serenti was found in her mother's arms who yelled at paramedics "help my baby" but despite being taken to a nearby hospital the child died.

Conneaut police interviewed Gurto the day after the child's death, according to Sullivan, but they opted not to detain him.

"He was here. He was very cooperative through the whole initial process. We opted to release him. There were no charges to keep him at the time," said Sullivan according to WKYC News.

Now, Sullivan added, police have obtained enough information to issue an arrest warrant for Gurto, who has not been seen since being released.

Police say that Gurto is around 5'10" tall and has a deformed right ear and a misaligned jaw. He also has tattoos on his right forearm.

An obituary for Sereniti read: "Sereniti was a lovable little girl who brought a smile to your face. Her personality was bright and her smile was contagious.

"She loved Scooby Doo, playing video games with her mom, and sleeping with her favourite monkey her grandma made for her.

"Although her time here was short, the lasting memories she brought to her family will forever be treasured."