GUILFORD, Maine — The father of Parkman homicide victim Stephanie Ginn Gebo issued a warning Thursday to anyone who might be helping the man accused of killing his daughter hide from authorities and asked the murder suspect to turn himself in.
Robert Burton, 38, is wanted in connection with the death of Ginn Gebo, his ex-girlfriend, in early June in Parkman. He has evaded capture for nearly two months, and there have been confirmed sightings of him in Piscataquis County during that span.
“I’m here to bring my daughter, Stephanie, and her two children to the light. We have a manhunt going on. It’s been going on for almost eight weeks now. I only have a simple message that I want to get out,” Vance Ginn of Abbott said during a news conference at Piscataquis Community Secondary School, which is serving as the command post for the manhunt.
“If there is someone out there helping this young man, you have to realize the consequences that you are going to face,” Ginn said, noting that anyone aiding Burton faces jail time and a hefty fine.
“If you have properties and you hold mortgages on them, most likely you’d lose everything that you have,” he said. “If you’re willing in your life to lose everything that you have, then continue to help this man. If you want to do the right thing, stop helping him. Send him out to us.”
Ginn also addressed Burton in front of the gathered media.
“Rob, I have a small message for you: Stop being a coward. Do what needs to be done. Stop putting your mother and your [family], through all this agony and pain. Do the right thing,” he said.
Despite the lack of proof, Ginn said Thursday that he believes Burton likely is receiving assistance from somebody, though he does not know who.
“Well, the search has been going on for so long, and there’s so few sightings, and the times that he has been seen, he seems awfully well kept,” Ginn said. “I mean, he’s not dirty, he’s not cut up, his clothes seem fairly clean. His hair doesn’t seem long enough for the time that he’s been out there. His beard doesn’t seem long enough for the time that he’s been out there. So it would make someone tend to believe that somehow, somewhere, he’s getting himself cleaned up, he’s getting taken care of.”
State police said little Thursday about Ginn’s theory.
“We have no indication that anyone is helping him. It is a crime if someone does,” Maine Department of Public Safety spokesman Stephen McCausland said in response to an email seeking reaction to Ginn’s statements.
Ginn brought to the news conference a framed photograph of his daughter and her two children, 10-year-old Connor Gebo and Sidney Gebo, 13.
“I want people to know who they have been working for,” he said.
The grieving father also wore pink and purple wristbands made in memory of his daughter. The wristbands bore his daughter’s name as well as her date of birth and the date of her death, which he referred to as “her date of birth in Christ.”
Burton, also known as Robert G. Elliot, is facing a murder charge in connection with the death of Ginn Gebo, a single mother of two, whose body was discovered on June 5 in her Parkman home, a week after their relationship ended and the day after his probation for previous domestic violence crimes expired. Burton has a lengthy criminal record that includes more than 10 years in prison for domestic violence crimes.
Ginn said he believes Burton is still in the area, pegging the territory in which he is believed to be hiding at about 70 square miles, most of it thickly wooded and swampy.
Burton, he said, grew up hunting and fishing in the area and knows where to find fresh water springs and other necessities.
In 2002, Burton was on the run for 12 days after threatening a woman with a rifle and knife before fleeing into the woods. He was found at an abandoned camp in Willimantic.
The most recent confirmed sighting of Burton that police have released information about happened about noon July 6 at a camp on Point Road in Guilford. A photo of Burton was captured by a nearby home monitoring system that shows him wearing camouflage and carrying his black backpack on his front.
Burton allegedly broke into Ginn Gebo’s house and was shot by her before he was able to get the gun away from her and use it to kill her, Piscataquis County Sheriff Goggin told WVII TV earlier this month.
Burton is 5-foot-11, about 180 pounds, with brown hair and blue eyes. He sometimes wears glasses and last was seen wearing camouflage clothing and carrying a dark-colored backpack. He has two very noticeable tattoos on the back of his hands, a shamrock or clover on his left hand and the word “Outlaw” on his right.
Those with information about Burton’s whereabouts are asked to call state police at 973-3700 or 911. A reward of more than $3,300 is being offered for information leading to his arrest.
Bangor Daily News writer Nok-Noi Ricker contributed to this report.