Editor’s note: According to Scioto County Coroner’s Office clerk Amy Cox, with the permission of county prosecutor Shane Tieman, the Daily Times is the first local media outlet to receive a complete copy of the autopsy report on Dylan J. Groves, whose two-month-old body was allegedly found at the bottom of a 30 foot well near the home of his parents. The following article contains graphic detail from the report.
In the autopsy report completed by Susan L. Brown, deputy corner of the Montgomery County Coroner’s Office, the second page reads “It is my opinion that the cause of death of Dylan J. Groves is: Homicidal violence of undetermined etiology.”
“Etiology” is defined as the cause, set of causes or manner of causation of a disease or condition. The Montgomery County coroner’s office handles all autopsies for Scioto County.
Although at the behest of Tieman, the coroner’s office withheld a full and separate toxicology report on Dylan’s body, the autopsy report reads at one point, “toxicology analysis reveals the presence of methamphetamine and amphetamine, in liver.”
As previously reported, young Dylan was removed from the custody of his parents after being born with illegal drugs in his system. He was later returned to the custody of his father, Daniel Groves, who along with Jessica Groves, Dylan’s mother, stands accused of aggravated murder.
In July, the Scioto County Coroner’s Office released a one-page preliminary autopsy, which noted 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 full autopsy offers a few more details.
“The body is received clad in a wet onesie, sleeper, socks and a soiled disposable diaper,” the full autopsy reads in part. “The infant was concealed in two black and gray milk crates bound together by a chain with multiple (three) padlocks, multiple zip ties (12,) and multiple wires (eight.)”
Brown states the milk crates were weighted with 18 rocks and an iron anchor-type weight all of which were secured around the infant, who was wrapped in numerous plastic bags and two blankets, all secured by multiple layers of duct tape.
Perhaps more importantly, the full autopsy outlines numerous alleged injuries, noting many of those injuries were received postmortem versus pre-mortem. Dylan allegedly suffered a skull fracture, his left arm broken in three places. His left leg also was broken. Brown reported fractures of two ribs and contusions of the right chest and left leg.
Beyond the injuries reported, Brown’s autopsy talks about an apparently largely healthy young infant.
“The body is that of a well-developed, well-nourished, white male infant,” the autopsy reads. Brown notes the infant’s measurements all were within standard numbers. Internal organs also are reported as normal. Musculature is described as “well-developed.”
The autopsy does contain some fairly graphic descriptions of the decomposition of Dylan’s body. For example, Brown was unable to study certain internal parts because of their physical condition.
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 (SCCS) has come under heavy criticism from various quarters, including the Scioto County Board of Commissioners.
Following a report regarding the death of an unnamed child, in which the timeline points toward it being Dylan Groves as the subject of the report since it also referred to the “target child” was found at the bottom of a well, the Board of Directors Of Scioto County Children Services suspended agency Director Lorra Fuller. Former Minford Schools administrator and past superintendent of the South-Central Ohio Educational Service Center, Lowell Howard, will take over as acting director.
A one-page summary of the report concludes in part, “based on the findings of the review, SCCS was found to be out of compliance with the Ohio Administrative Code. Given the serious nature of the findings and the factors contributing to noncompliance, SCCS will be required to submit a Corrective Action Plan (CAP) detailing the steps the agency will take to improve upon practice.”
The report was completed by the Ohio Department of Jobs and Family Services (ODJFS). The state agency gave SCCS 30 days from receipt of the report to develop and submit a CAP. The report itself presents numerous instances of what ODJFS labels problems with SCCS’ handling of Dylan’s case.
As for Dylan’s parents, both are being held without bond in the Scioto County Jail. The couple are being treated as co-defendants with their cases set to go to trial in January 2020. Jessica Groves initially pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity. However, psychological testing found her competent to stand trial and she subsequently entered a not guilty plea.
Reach Tom Corrigan at (740) 370-0715. © 2019 Portsmouth Daily Times, all rights reserved.