Official: Search of rape suspect’s Green Twp. home related to fatal fire

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – WKBN is working to get information on what police found when they searched the Green Township home of rape suspect Robert Seman Thursday evening.

Youngstown Police detectives, along with agents from the Mahoning County Sheriff’s office, the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation and state fire marshal’s office searched the property on Calla Road for four hours. But investigators will not reveal what was found when they executed the search warrant, which was obtained after Seman showed up in court Monday morning with burns on his body that he tried to hide with makeup.

However, they did confirm the search was related to the the fire.

At one point , Seman had to be taken to the hospital for treatment this week, but is now back in the Mahoning County Jail. He had been set to start trial on rape charges and authorities confirm his alleged victim was Corinne Gump, who was one of the victims of Monday’s fatal fire in Youngstown. The fire also killed Gump’s grandparents, Bill and Judy Schmidt.

At this point, police said they will not comment any further on the Seman case, calling it an ongoing, active investigation. In fact, Youngstown Police Detective Capt. Brad Blackburn sent a statement Friday saying a report by WKBN on Thursday night about Seman’s burns “is becoming a hindrance to the investigation and is causing a great deal of stress to the victims’ family, who’ve already suffered more than I can fathom.”

Blackburn said he will have plenty to say if he finds out “who is providing confidential information to non-law enforcement personnel in reference to an ongoing investigation.”

“I respect the media professional and know they have a job to do, but cannot add anything further at this time,” Blackburn’s statement said.

moreinfo Photos from the scene – Youngstown fire kills 3

In the meantime, a candlelight vigil and fundraiser will be held Tuesday to help the family of Corinne Gump pay for funeral expenses. The fundraiser will start at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday at 3631 Powers Way, in front of the house where the three victims died.

The fundraiser includes live bands, a DJ, a basket raffle and auction. An online fundraiser also has been started.

At dusk, a prayer service and candlelight vigil will be held. The event is being hosted by family friend Patrick Hagerty from the band Hat Tricks.

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