ONEONTA – Police Chief Douglas Brenner said a few minutes ago his department is gathering information that will allow it to bring the U.S. Marshals Office into the search for Gabriel Truitt, the former proprietor of the Tru Cut barber shop being sought in the Dec. 29 fatal fire on Walling Avenue.
The step taken by an Otsego County Grand Jury, which issued an indictment against Truitt on Wednesday, facilitates getting the Marshals Office involved, the chief said. Previously, the OPD had been empowered only by a warrant to apprehend the suspect.
It’s been 15 week since the early morning fire that took the life of John Heller, the former city firefighter who was hailed a hero after he ensured the safety of his girlfriend and three of his nephews who were visiting them before he was trapped by flames in the third-story apartment.
Truitt’s brother, Terrence, was held in Otsego County Jail for five weeks until it became clear to authorities that they had the wrong man.
Gabriel Truitt was known to be in Connecticut, but it’s unsure where he is now. Regardless, Chief Brenner said there could be “a break any minute.”