Police: Reports from unnamed sources hindering fatal fire invest - WFMJ.com News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

Police: Reports from unnamed sources hindering fatal fire investigation

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YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio - Police are saying that media reports citing “unnamed sources” are hindering the investigation into a house fire that claimed the lives of a ten-year-old girl and her grandparents.

Youngstown Police Captain Brad Blackburn makes the claim in a written statement issued on Friday following a report from a local media outlet claiming that investigators obtained a warrant to search the home of Robert Seman after Mahoning County jail employees discovered burns on Seman's body.

That warrant remains under seal by order of a judge and the police officer who served it aren't commenting.

Seman was jailed on Monday just hours after 10-year-old Corinne Gump, William and Judith Schmidt died in a fire that spread through their Powers Way home.

The 47-year-old Green Township resident had been scheduled to go on trial that day for allegedly raping Gump.

Detective Blackburn writes, “The information provided by 'unnamed sources' to the media is becoming a hindrance to this investigation and is causing a great deal of stress to the victims' family, who've already suffered more than I can fathom.”

Investigators from the Mahoning County Sheriff's Department and agents from the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation would not say what they were looking for when they searched the Calla Road home Thursday night.

21 News has learned that an agent from the State Fire Marshal's office was also present during the search.

Blackburn further states,”If I find out who is providing confidential information to non-law enforcement personnel in reference to an ongoing investigation, I will have plenty to say at that time.”

Seman's rape trial was postponed and his bond was revoked for what authorities claim was a bribery allegation.

Until his bond was revoked on Monday, Seman had been under electronically monitored house arrest since being indicted last April. However, Seman did have permission to go to work.

The coroner has said that the three fire victims died from smoke inhalation but says he can't determine if the deaths were accidental or intentional until investigators determine the cause of the fire.

Stay connected with 21 News and wfmj.com for the latest on this developing story.

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