Bizarre Missing Man, Infant Case Solved in Mechanicsville

MECHANICSVILLE, Md. - St. Mary's County police recovered a missing man and his infant child on Sunday. Both were reported missing late Saturday night. But, the case is not a typical missing person incident.

According to the report from the St. Mary's County Sheriff's Department, on Saturday Jan. 06, at approximately 10:40 p.m., patrol officers responded to a residence in Mechanicsville after they received a report that Mark Travis Grove, a 22 year-old male from Mechanicsville, and his 4 month old infant child were missing. Officers were unable to locate the two persons throughout the night.

The following morning, detectives from the St. Mary's County Bureau of Criminal Investigations (BCI) assumed the investigation. They determined that Grove had obtained a controlled dangerous substance, also known as an illegal drug. Police say they learned that Grove had gone to a field near his residence to consume the substance with the infant child.

Detectives located Grove's vehicle in the field near his home early in the morning and began a search. Police say when Grove saw them approaching, he took his infant child and fled into the woods. The child was wearing only a diaper.

Deputies from the St. Mary's County Sheriff's Patrol Division and Troopers from the Maryland State Police Leonardtown Barrack, along with K9 officers from both agencies and Trooper 7, assisted in the search for Grove and the child.

Grove was subsequently apprehended and taken to the St. Mary's County Detention Center. The infant was immediately treated by medical personnel on the scene and was released to his mother.

Further investigation revealed that during the time Grove was missing, he had burglarized a hunting shed and taken items. Police also determined that he had burglarized the same shed and taken items on two prior occasions.

Grove was charged with child abuse, reckless endangerment, three counts of burglary, and one count of theft over $500.00, one count of theft under $500.00 and hindering a police officer in the performance of his duties. He is currently being held on a $15,000 cash bond.

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