Maurice Groover Family of Four Found Dead

Autopsy Places Cause Due to Suffocation July 18

Burial services for the Maurice Groover family, found dead Monday in a cabin near Atlanta where they were vacationing, will be held Friday afternoon at two o’clock.

The bodies of Maurice Groover, 49, his wife, Josephine, 46, and nine year old twins Carl A. and Paul E. were returned to Oxford Monday after conservation agents found the four early Monday.

First reports of the deaths in Montmorency County on Muskellunge Lake 12 miles south of Atlanta listed the cause as asphyxiation, but an autopsy later revealed death was due to suffocation.

Others investigation the incident reported that a lack of oxygen in the 20×24 cement block cabin might have caused the tragedy. The cabin was caulked and very tight. It’s possible the burning lights, heating, and refrigeration, all of which used propane gas, plus the breathing of the occupants might have used up all the gas.

Conservation officers were sent to the cabin owned by Harry Edwards of Oakwood, by Donald Francis of Oakwood, brother-in-law of Mr. Groover, when they failed to return from their vacation when expected.

Francis had first alerted Montmorency County Sheriff’s, but they mistook another cottage in the area for the one the Groover’s were inhabiting. These people had left, according to neighbors.

The conservation office broke into the cabin and found Mr. Groover and one son wearing pajamas just inside the door. It appeared they were trying to get out. The other son was in bed, and the mother, fully dressed, lay beside the couch where she apparently had been sleeping.

Bags of groceries were on the table and the suitcases lay open but partly unpacked. No meal had been prepared. The Groovers had apparently retired soon after arriving. It also appeared that they turned on the heater to warm and dry the cabin, started the refrigerator and burned some lights. One valve was open on a gas light, and both bottles of gas were empty.

There was no foul play.

Date of the deaths was placed at August 18, the day following their arrival at the cabin.

Mr. Groover and his family lived at 641 Hurd road on a 160 acre farm owned by George Bass. He worked his farm and several others in the area.

A lifetime resident of Oakland county, Mr. Groover was born in Pontiac November 7, 1908, the son of Mr. and Mrs. Arthur Groover, 19 Mechanic street in Oxford. They moved to the Hurd road address when Maurice was 10 years old. He graduated from the Oxford high school in 1926.

He was a member of the Oxford Methodist Church, Methodist Men’s Club and Farm Bureau.

Mr. Groover is survived by two sisters, Mrs. Donald Francis, Oxford, and Mrs. Elma Gace [sic], Concord, California, and a brother, Perry Groover, Glen Allen, Virginia, besides his parents.

Mrs. Josephine A. Groover was the former Josephine Johnson of Pontiac. She was graduated from the Pontiac high school, and worked in an office before marrying Mr. Groover, November 23, 1946.

She has no close survivors.

The twins, Paul and Carl were born in Brighton, October 7, 1948. The both attended the Daniel Axford elementary school and were in the second grade. They also went to the Methodist Church.

Funeral services Friday at 2 o’clock will be conducted from the Bossardet and Reid Funeral Chapel and the Groovers will be laid at rest in Mt. Pleasant Cemetery, Oakwood.

Reverends Fred Clark of Oxford, and Ellis Hart, of Romeo will officiate.

Source: Oxford Leader, September 3, 1958.

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