Daily Progress, Jacksonville, TX


September 10, 2013

Law Enforcement: Church of Wells parishioners have not broken any laws in regard to an Arkansas woman whose parents have accused them of holding her in thrall

However, baby death remains under investigation.



An autopsy found that the baby died of natural causes, but that investigation never closed.

Back to the Catherine Grove case, it essentially began in July, when Grove fell off her parents' radar for a week. She then telephoned them, letting them she was all right but adding she would be staying with the congregation of the Church of Wells for the immediate future.

Patty and Andy Grove quickly followed, traveling to the small Cherokee County town of Wells — population 790 as of the 2010 census.

The Groves contacted area reporters and initiated what was essentially a public relations campaign against the church to promote their belief their daughter is "under the control" of the elders of the church.

"They are in control of what Catherine is doing and where she is going," her mother reiterated Tuesday. "We are not saying she is being held against her will. They are influencing her not to talk to her family. If they really loved Catherine they would want her to talk to her family and friends."

Elders with the Church of Wells contend Catherine Grove is a former Satanist and that parishioners are trying to help retrain her in the ways of the church. Church elder Sean Morris went so far as to call press conference to elaborate Sunday, but canceled it before it could take place.

In an email distributed to the media on Tuesday, Church of Wells Elder Sean Morris said the Groves are very manipulative — despite accusing the church of themselves being “master mental manipulators” of the situation.

“Ever since the Groves have been here they have hidden the past of Catherine and (Catherine's sister) from the town,” Sean Morris said. “When I have tried to mention to some people about these horrific complexities which greatly changes this situation, these people went to the Grove only to hear them deny it with shameless confidence …”

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