At the request of the Portsmouth Daily Times, Scioto County Prosecutor Shane Tieman and the Scioto County Coroner’s Office provided some new information in the death of young Dylan Groves.
According to the coroner’s office, a complete autopsy of the infant sheriff’s officials say they found June 5 at the bottom of a well in Otway, won’t be available for at least another few weeks. However, the coroner’s office allowed the Daily Times to look at a preliminary autopsy report completed by the Montgomery County Coroner’s Office.
The autopsy report refers to “a decomposed approximately two-month-old infant recovered from a 30 foot well.”
Most media reports have given Dylan’s age as six months. However, that appears to be the age Dylan would have been at the time his body was discovered last month.
Dylan’s date of birth was Jan. 10.
According to the preliminary autopsy, someone wrapped Dylan’s body “in numerous plastic bags,” which were sealed with duct tape, and “placed in crates,” bound by chains, padlocks, zip ties and metal wires.
The infant suffered numerous injuries, although the preliminary report states further examination of the body is needed to determine if Dylan received those injuries before or after his death.
The preliminary report does not mention a cause of death.
As was partially reported previously, according to the Montgomery County Coroner, Dylan suffered multiple fractures, including to the left and right parietal bones of his skull. Numerous fractures were reported on his upper left extremities including breaks of his left humerus, left radius and left ulna. The tibia of his left leg also was broken along with left ribs number six and seven. Finally, the autopsy notes a laceration to Dylan’s left arm.
Dylan’s parents, Daniel and Jessica Groves, both stand accused of numerous counts, including aggravated murder, murder, four counts of felonious assault, kidnapping, interference with custody and gross abuse of a corpse. Appearing as codefendants, the pair are due back in the Scioto County Court of Common Pleas for their first pretrial July 25.
The indictments against the parents claim the suspects “on or about March 28, 2019 to June 11, 2019, at Scioto County, Ohio … did cause the death of D. G., … as a proximate result of the offender committing or attempting to commit an offense of violence that is a felony of the first or second degree, to wit: felonious assault.”
Since the discovery of the body, Scioto County Children Services has come under heavy criticism from various quarters, probably most notably the Scioto County Board of Commissioners, who asked for at least two independent investigations into the organization’s activities and unsuccessfully sought the suspension of Children Services Director Lorra Fuller until completion of those investigation.
Last week, as the Times reported, State Sen. Joe Uecker, (R-14,) stepped into the fray after meeting, he said, with what he called a group of concerned citizens.
Uecker said he attended a session of the Children Services Board and came away unimpressed with what he saw and heard. According to Uecker, board members were unable to tell him what about their operations has changed since Dylan’s death.
Children Services Board Chairman Al Oliver later defended the board and Fuller. Oliver said his board plans to meet Wednesday with various stakeholders involved with Children Services, including among others, the Scioto County Sheriff’s Office. He added county commissioners are invited. He believes it important all involved come together to gain “clarity” regarding what happened and what needs to happen in the future.
In the meantime, Fuller stated a review of her department is underway by the Ohio Department of Jobs and Family Services. She said an internal study of all cases in which the county currently has custody of a child also is taking place.
Fuller objected to Uecker’s characterization of her organization as having taken no action.
“It is everyone’s hope, both the board and the staff at children services, that as a result of this extensive review child maltreatment and child fatalities will be reduced,” Fuller concluded. “To say that the Scioto County Children Services Board is not taking action is erroneous and misperceived.”
Uecker later added he intends to introduce legislation mandating in cases of family reunification, such as happened with Dylan Groves, if the caretaker involved misses one meeting with county officials, law enforcement automatically is notified of the case.
Reach Tom Corrigan at (740) 370- 0715. © 2019 Portsmouth Daily Times, all rights reserved.