UPDATE | Parents of baby found dead in well plead not guilty

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SCIOTO COUNTY, Ohio (WSAZ & AP) -- UPDATE 6/17/19 @ 2:55 p.m.
The parents of a 6-month-old boy found dead last week in an Ohio well pleaded not guilty Monday to all charges including aggravated murder, our crew at the scene reports.

Jessica Groves, 39, and Daniel Groves, 41, pleaded not guilty to all charges, including aggravated murder, in the death of 6-month-old Dylan Groves. His body was found in a well in Otway, Ohio.

More disturbing details were released in the death of Dylan Groves. According to a preliminary autopsy, he suffered skull fractures on both sides of his skull, a fractured left arm (broken radius, humerus and ulna), a left leg fracture, two broken left ribs, soft tissue hemorrhaging in his right chest wall and a laceration to his left arm.

Dylan's body was found last week in Otway near the home of his parents Jessica Groves, 39, and Daniel Groves, 41.

Among other charges the couple faces are kidnapping and corpse abuse. As mentioned, they pleaded not guilty to those and the aggravated murder charge. The couple was arraigned before Judge Mark Kuhn in Scioto County Common Pleas Court.

Assistant Prosecutor Julie Cook-Hutchinson says initial evidence indicates that Jessica Groves is the principal offender in the case. She was visibly upset throughout the hearing.

No bond was set for either suspect.

Authorities say Dylan Groves was removed from his parents' custody when he was born with drugs in his system but was later returned to his father. There’s also a 14-year-old child in Child Protective Services. Prosecutors asked that he have no contact with Daniel Groves.



UPDATE 6/17/19 @ 11:25 a.m.
The parents of a 6-month-old boy found dead in an Ohio well are to be arraigned on charges including aggravated murder, kidnapping and corpse abuse.

A Scioto County grand jury indicted 39-year-old Jessica Groves and 41-year-old Daniel Groves, of Otway, last week in the death of their infant son, Dylan. Their arraignment is set for Monday at 1:15 p.m. in Portsmouth.

The parents were arrested before the indictment. Court documents don't list attorneys for them.

The baby's body was found in a well about 30 feet (9 meters) deep in Otway. That's about 75 miles (120 kilometers) south of Columbus. Authorities haven't disclosed a cause of death.

Authorities say Dylan was removed from his parents' custody when he was born with drugs in his system but was later returned to his father.

We will have a crew in the hearing.

Keep clicking on the WSAZ App for more information.



UPDATE 6/14/19 @ 12:49 p.m.
The parents of a baby found dead in a well in Scioto County are now facing murder charges.

The Scioto County Grand Jury indicted Daniel and Jessica Groves Friday on charges of aggravated murder, murder, kidnapping, endangering children, tampering with evidence, interference with custody, gross abuse of a corpse, and four counts of felonious assault.

If they are found guilty on all counts, the pair could face life in prison.

Sheriff's deputies say 6-month-old Dylan Groves was found in a well Wednesday evening in the Otway area. Investigators believe the baby has been dead since late March. His body was sent to the Montgomery County Coroner's Office for an autopsy.

Investigators say Dylan was born addicted to drugs and spent the first months of his life under the care of Scioto County Children’s Services.

The couple regained custody of him after complying with CPS requirements, but investigators say Daniel later stopped showing up to court appearances, home visits, and doctor appointments for Dylan. That's when CPS and the sheriff's office started looking for the child.

After several failed attempts to track down Daniel, 41, and Jessica, 39, there was a standoff at their home in Otway Monday, June 10. Both were arrested.

Andrea Bowling, who was Dylan's foster mom before the Groves regained custody, tells WSAZ she believes the system failed him horribly. Scioto County CPS declined a comment Thursday, saying they are not able to comment until the investigation is over.



UPDATE 6/13/19 @ 10 p.m.
A memorial service was held Thursday night for Dylan Groves, the baby whose body was found at the bottom of a well in Scioto County the night before.

A crowd lit candles at Faith Baptist Church in Wheelersburg, the home church of Andrea Bowling, who was Dylan's foster mom.

"He loved being swaddled and held close," Bowling said.

She says she only had Dylan for 12 days shortly after he was born in January with drugs in his system. She says after those 12 days, he was returned to his parents.

"He was just so precious and adorable," Bowling, who teaches in Minford, said. "I took thousands of pictures of him in the short time I had him."

She'd been hoping she'd eventually get Dylan back. She believes the system failed him horribly.

"There need to be changes made for this system that we have," Bowling said. "This should've never happened. I want Dylan's life to have that purpose and that meaning to stop this from ever happening again."

Bowling says the only thoughts keeping her together are the hope that this tragedy could spark positive change and her belief that she will see him again.

"I cannot wait to see Dylan again," she aid. "I know he's up there in Heaven, and I truly believe he'll be waiting on me."

Bowling's friend Sonia Banks organized the memorial service.

"I have a niece that we have custody of due to the drug epidemic," Banks said. "She's 15 now, but she was that age once, and she's now trying to be a voice for these younger kids, and this baby doesn't have a voice."

Dylan's parents, Daniel and Jessica Groves, were in court Thursday and waived their preliminary hearings. They've been charged with kidnapping and abduction, accused of keeping Dylan hidden from CPS.

Investigators say more charges will be filed.

Investigators say the baby was returned to his father after he completed family reunification requirements, but then the father started missing court appearances and doctor appointments for his son.



UPDATE 6/13/19 @ 7:05 p.m.
Family members say they are heartbroken after the body of 6-month-old Dylan Groves was found in a well Wednesday in the Otway area.

The baby’s parents, Jessica and Daniel, are now facing charges with his disappearance.

A relative told WSAZ the family was not ready to do any on camera interviews but said she hopes there is justice for Dylan. She added most of the family never even got to meet him, and they hadn’t been close to Daniel and Jessica for some time.

She says many of them found out that Dylan’s body had been found through a WSAZ newscast.

Investigators say Dylan was born addicted to drugs and spent the first months of his life under the care of Scioto County Children’s Services until Daniel met the requirements for family reunification. SCCS declines a comment Thursday saying they are not able to until the investigation is over.

The Groves appeared in court Thursday where they waived their preliminary hearings. That means their cases will be presented to a grand jury. The jury will decide if there is enough probable cause to indict the couple.

They are currently facing kidnapping and abduction charges in connection with the baby's disappearance. Investigators say more charges will be filed.



UPDATE 6/13/19 @ 12:40 p.m.
The parents of a baby found dead in a well in Scioto County appeared in court Thursday morning.

Both Daniel Groves, 41, and Jessica Groves, 39, waived their preliminary hearings. That means their cases will be presented to a grand jury. The jury will decide if there is enough probable cause to indict the couple.

They are currently facing kidnapping and abduction charges in connection with the baby's disappearance. Investigators say more charges will be filed.

Detectives found the body of 6-month-old Dylan Groves inside a well in Otway Wednesday evening. According to deputies with the Scioto County Sheriff's Office, the well appeared to be about 30 feet deep.

Investigators believe the baby has been dead since late March. His body was sent to the Montgomery County Coroner's Office for an autopsy.

Sheriff's deputies say the baby was born addicted to drugs. The couple regained custody of him after complying with CPS requirements, but investigators say Daniel stopped showing up to court appearances, home visits, and doctor appointments for Dylan. That's when CPS and the sheriff's office started looking for the child.

After several failed attempts to track Daniel and Jessica down, there was eventually a standoff at their home in Otway Monday, June 10. Both were arrested.

Also in court Thursday, the judge addressed a motion to revoke Daniel's probation. He was on probation for a theft charge, and committing new crimes violates his probation.

The judge asked Daniel if he wanted to admit to the violations and waive his right to a hearing, or deny the violations and require the state to provide evidence that shows probable cause that he violated his probation. Daniel chose to deny the violations and move forward with a hearing.

That probation hearing will be at 9:45 a.m. on June 20. Daniel can bring witnesses to testify on his behalf.

The judge set no bond for Daniel. Jessica's bond remains at $100,000.

UPDATE 6/12/19 @ 11 p.m.
The Scioto County Sheriff's Department confirmed late Wednesday night they've recovered the body of a missing baby.

Captain John Murphy says detectives received information of a possible location of 6-month-old Dylan Groves. Detectives responded to a location in Otway where they found a well that appeared to be about 30 feet deep.

Murphy says with the help of the Otway Fire Department, they were able to recover the body from the bottom of the well. The body has been sent to the Montgomery County Coroner's Office for an autopsy.

The baby's parents, Daniel and Jessica Groves, were arrested Monday. They are facing kidnapping and abduction charges in connection with the baby's disappearance.

According to a news release from the sheriff's department, investigators believe the baby has been dead since late March.

Investigators say more charges will be filed.



UPDATE 6/12/19 @ 6 p.m.
A missing 6-month-old boy from Scioto County is believed to be dead, the Scioto County Sheriff's Office said Wednesday.

Investigators say they searched a wooded area where detectives received information that the baby was taken and left after death.

The release does not indicate a specific location where investigators have been looking for Dylan Groves.

Investigators, including with the state Bureau of Criminal Investigation (BCI) and the state Department of Natural Resources, searched the scene with cadaver dogs. Deputies believe the child has been dead since the end of March.

As WSAZ reported Tuesday, the baby's parents, Daniel Groves, 41, and Jessica Groves, 39, both of Otway, Ohio, face multiple charges in connection with the missing infant.

According to Wednesday's release, Dylan was born with drugs in his system and had been in the custody of Scioto County Children Services.

Deputies say the baby was in CPS custody, but returned to the father after he "completed all requirements for family unification."

Investigators say the father started missing court dates, home visits, and doctor visits for Dylan. Scioto County Child Services made several attempts to find the child, "but had no success in doing so."

On May 3, a case worker asked the sheriff's office for help locating Dylan. Deputies tried multiple times to find the parents at their home on Mount Hope Road. On May 20, the chief deputy went to the home and saw Daniel and Jessica on a four-wheeler. He chased them, but the couple took off into the woods and got away.

Detectives were able to get a search warrant for the home on June 10. The sheriff's office executed the warrant with the Southern Ohio Drug Task Force. Deputies called in the Ohio State Highway Patrol special response team's aviation unit.

There was a six hour-long standoff, but officers ultimately arrested Daniel.

During the search of the home, deputies found several stolen items including two ATVs, a UTV, two trailers, a riding lawn mower, a camper, and other items. The total value was $42,000.

The suspects are being held in the Scioto County Jail.

Daniel is charged with abduction, kidnapping, interference with custody, a probation violation, theft, and receiving stolen property. He is in jail without bond.

Jessica is charged with abduction, kidnapping, interference of custody, and contempt of court. Her bond was set at $100,000.

Deputies say more charges will be presented to the Scioto County Grand Jury.

"Captain John W. Murphy stated that this investigation is still ongoing and that his detectives, along with the other agencies, have been working countless hours on this case and will continue to do so," the press release states. The sheriff's office thanked the other agencies that assisted.

Keep checking the WSAZ app for the latest information.



UPDATE 6/11/19 @ 10 p.m.
A married couple is facing charges after allegedly abducting their own 6-month-old son.

According to court records, Otway residents Daniel and Jessica Groves are accused of taking the baby, who was in the custody of CPS, and keeping him hidden.

Court records say the parents refused to bring their son back to CPS, despite knowing the child was supposed to be returned.

The offense allegedly happened in Brush Creek in Scioto County.

Daniel Groves, 41, is charged with kidnapping, abduction, interference with custody, grand theft, and probation violation.

Jessica Groves, 39, is charged with kidnapping, abduction, interference with custody and contempt.

The suspects are being held in the Scioto County Jail.

Neighbors say there was a big police presence at the couple's home on Mount Hope Road in Otway Monday. They say there was even a helicopter and SWAT truck.

It hasn't been confirmed yet why that baby was taken away from his parents to begin with.

WSAZ has learned from court documents that the father was charged last fall after being accused of cutting down trees in a state forest near his home.

The Scioto County Sheriff's Department is not answering questions yet about this case or the status of the baby. They say they'll be releasing more information Wednesday.

Keep checking the WSAZ app for the latest information.


Daniel and Jessica Groves, of Otway, Ohio, are facing charges of abduction and kidnapping. Their 6-month-old son Dylan was found dead in a well two days after they were arrested.
Jessica and Daniel Groves, of Otway, Ohio, appeared in court Thursday morning. They are facing charges of abduction and kidnapping for keeping their 6-month-old son hidden from CPS. The baby was found dead in a well two days after they were arrested.