Death of 5-year-old not first involving Scioto County Children Services

Local News

SCIOTO COUNTY, OH (WOWK) – A Scioto County couple is facing murder charges after the death of their 5-year-old granddaughter who was placed in their care by Scioto County Children Services.

This death is yet another incident in less than a year-and-a-half involving Scioto County Children Services placing a child in a home that ended with the death of that child.

In January, Daniel and Jessica Groves were found guilty of murder in the death of their 2-month-old baby, Dylan. Go back one year prior, Dylan Groves was born in January of 2019, physically dependant on drugs.

Scioto County Children Services took custody of the baby after his birth, but weeks later he was released by children services back to his father, Daniel Groves’, care. For weeks following that return – SCCS couldn’t get a hold of either Daniel or Jessica Groves, but more importantly … baby Dylan. 

The parents were ultimately found by the police, and after days of interrogation and false leads  – Dylan’s location was finally discovered … 30-feet down a rural Scioto County well.

The autopsy report stated he was only 2 months old when he died, and detailed the gruesome injuries contributing to his death – including multiple fractures to his skull and other locations. Drugs, including meth, were also found in his liver.

In the summer of 2019 – a third party investigation looked into Scioto County Children Services’ handling of the case. In October the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services released its final “child fatality” report – determining the agency was “out of compliance with Ohio administrative code.” The director at the time was placed on administrative leave.

 The agency was ordered to implement a corrective action plan, and a new director began the job just last week all of this will undoubtedly be brought up as this latest death involving the Scioto County Children Services works its way through the courts.

In a statement to 13 News, Dylan Groves’ foster mother and his courtroom advocate in the Groves’ trial said:

“After hearing the news last night about the little 5-year-old girl, my heart has been so heavy.  Another innocent child gone.  Our system is broken. I’ve said this a million times since Dylan’s tragedy.  We have worked with politicians for change, but we hear that things like this take time.  It is hard to be patient when children are dying.  It is hard to wait, we don’t have time.  Our children should be our state’s top priority.  They need to be safe now.  Not a year from now.  Right now.  I am interested to find out if the proper precautions were being followed in this case.  The children’s protective services pushes reunification and kinship care.  This little girl was with family.  But, I want to know, were they drug tested?  Was their home inspected? Background checks?  These are all important questions that I am sure we will get answers to as the investigation continues.  Reunification is great when the family has worked hard to make that happen.  Sadly kinship care is not always the best thing for the child.  Kinship providers need to be put through the same training and testing as foster parents.  Our children deserve adults that ensure their safety above all else.  We need change today.” 

Andrea Tackett
Dylan’s foster mother and courtroom advocate

A statement received by 13 News by the Scioto County Children Services said, “The Scioto County Children Services Agency is deeply saddened by the tragic passing of a child in our care. We are currently working with the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services regarding the completion of an administrative review. In addition, we are fully cooperating with local law enforcement. Due to the nature of an ongoing criminal investigation, we are prohibited from further comment at this time”

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