ADAMS COUNTY, Ohio (FOX19) - An Adams County family wants to set the record straight about the short life of Dylan Groves — a 6-month-old found dead in a well earlier this week in Scioto County.
Dylan’s parents Daniel and Jessica Groves have been indicted for murder, kidnapping, endangering children and tampering with evidence after authorities found their 6-month old child Dylan in a 30-foot well Wednesday.
"I think the whole situation is horrible,” said Dylan’s cousin Alisha Maddy. “We knew from the moment she (Jessica) was pregnant, that it was going to be something awful.”
Maddy said in a statement she shared with FOX19 that her family is still in shock and grieving over what happened to her cousin.
"We are both disgusted and devastated by what has happened in the past week and we wish nothing more than the ultimate punishment to be given to these sick individuals, to which we have the burden of calling family,” Maddy said.
Investigators believe Dylan has been dead since late March.
"Jessica and Daniel were not always the people you see in the mugshots on the news. They were not always the parents of a dead baby found in a well, they were normal people like you and I,” Maddy said.
Maddy said drugs took over their lives.
The Scioto County Sheriff said Dylan was born with drugs in his system and had been in foster care since birth.
"He liked to be swaddled, held close, because he constantly had the shakes, things like that, from the addiction,” Maddy said.
But deputies said the baby was returned to the father after he “completed all requirements for family unification.”
"I can’t imagine he got clean off of what drugs he was on in 12 days,” Maddy said. “Daniel and Jessica wouldn’t really allow us to be around him.”
She said their family is taking some heat on social media for not intervening earlier.
"People are posting, ‘Why didn’t the family do this? Why didn’t the family do that?’ But Daniel threatened us that if we show up on their property, he would either shoot us or quote, let their dogs loose,” she said.
Sheriff’s deputies said they tried for months to reach the couple. They got a search warrant on June 10 and say they found about $42,000 worth of stolen property.
After a six-hour-long standoff, officers arrested Daniel Groves.
"As his family, who loved him more than anything, anyone could even imagine, do not let him be another face of a child, who had the misfortune of druggie parents,” Maddy said. “So today and every day, until there is justice, my family and I will use our voice to make sure Dylan James is not forgotten.”
Dylan’s body has been sent to the Montgomery County Coroner’s Office for an autopsy.
The family said Botkin Funeral Homes has agreed to cover the burial if the family can get his body released to them.
The family said Dylan has no other immediate family alive other than them.
The Groves are due back in court Monday.
The family said they plan to be there in court wearing T-shirts with Dylan’s picture on it.