It’s official-2019 will be history after midnight and The Portsmouth Daily Times is reflecting on the top stories throughout the year.
The year 2019 has been full of headline stories, some even making national news. One of our most-read stories in the region that shocked the community was about six-month-old Dylan Groves.
Scioto County Sheriff Marty V. Donini stated his office became involved in the incident after being contacted by Scioto County Children’s Services with concerns regarding the whereabouts of Groves.
After he was born with illicit drugs in his system, the county initially took custody of the child. However, officials allowed his biological father to take custody of his son after he met all requirements for family reunification as requested by officials.
Sheriff’s Capt. John W Murphy stated after the county first returned Dylan to his father, the father was compliant with all requirements set forth by children’s services. However, Murphy further said after an unspecified amount of time the father started missing court dates, along with home and doctor visits for Dylan. Children’s services made several attempts to locate young Dylan but with no success.
On May 20, Sheriff Chief Deputy Todd Miller and Murphy responded to the Mount Hope location in yet another attempt to locate Dylan. According to Murphy, the two officers spotted Daniel and Jessica Groves attempting to leave the area on a four-wheeler, resulting in a pursuit with the two disappearing into some nearby woods and eluding officers.
On June 10, 2019, detectives were able to obtain a search warrant for the property. Murphy said sheriff’s Office detectives along with the Southern Ohio Drug Task Force executed the search warrant at the Mount Hope location. Donini stated officials removed Jessica Groves from the property without incident, while Daniel Groves barricaded himself inside.
At that point, the sheriff’s office requested assistance from the Ohio State Highway Patrol special response team, to include their aviation unit. Officials finally were able to apprehend suspect Daniel Groves after a six-hour standoff with officials.
Murphy stated during their search of Groves’ home, law enforcement officials allegedly recovered numerous stolen items to include two four-wheelers, two stolen traders, a riding lawnmower, a camper and other items valued at $42,000.
Murphy stated based on all the information available to law enforcement they believed the missing child was deceased and had been since the end of March. Dylan was eventually found dead at the bottom of a well in mid-June. The body of the child was found 30-feet down, inside milk crates and tied up plastic bags, not far from where his parents, Jessica and Daniel Groves, lived.
On Dec. 18, The final pretrial in the case of baby Dylan Groves was held in Portsmouth. No deal was struck, and the court will move into a full trial beginning Jan. 6, 2020.