A rape suspect was taken into custody on Thursday following an extensive investigation by the Wilson County Sheriff’s Office, in collaboration with other law enforcement agencies.
In December, the Warrants Division received an indictment against Timothy S. Groce, initiating a diligent pursuit. The investigation pointed to Springfield, Missouri, and on Christmas Day, information surfaced that he had attempted to use a credit card in the area. Lt. Steve Gatlin, through persistent efforts, identified a potential address on January 9th.
Coordinating with Greene County (Missouri), which actively participates in the U.S. Marshals task force, law enforcement attempted the address. Though Groce had left days earlier, Lt. Gatlin continued collaboration with Greene County and the Marshals Service, uncovering information that led them to a residence in Christian County (Missouri).
On January 11, 2024, at around 1 pm, a joint team comprising of sheriff’s deputies from Greene and Christian County, along with US Marshals, successfully located and apprehended Groce at a residence in Christian County. The arrest occurred without further incident, and Groce is currently held in Christian County Jail pending extradition to the Wilson County Correctional Facility.
Groce now faces serious charges, including continuous sexual abuse of a child, 14 counts of statutory rape by an authority figure, and rape.