Ferris´ Gary Groves arrested in Comes murder
By 10/19/2000 00:00:00
WAXAHACHIE - Ellis County Sheriff's Department arrested Gary Charles Groves, 21, of Ferris Wednesday and charged him in the strangulation death of Charity Sue Comes.
Groves is charged with murder at this time, according to Sheriff Ray Stewart, who said the charge may be upgraded to capital murder with further investigation.
The naked body of Comes, 14-year-old Ferris High School freshman, was found Sept. 3 beside Red Oak Creek on Farrar Road off FM 813 in Ellis County. She had been missing since Aug. 30.
Because the Comes family lived just across the line in Dallas County, sheriff's department personnel from both Ellis and Dallas County worked together on the case.
After an extensive investigation, including a DNA match, Groves was arrested at 12:55 p.m. Wednesday while driving his car.
Investigators staked out Groves address, watched his moves and were ready to make the arrest when given the go-ahead, Deputy Jeremy Osteen said at a Thursday morning press conference.
Sheriff Stewart said Groves was 'a friend of the family' and knew Comes.
Stewart said laboratory evidence linked Groves to the murder. Asked if that evidence included DNA, Stewart said yes.
Stewart declined to answer several questions due to the ongoing investigation, including Groves' prior record, whether Comes had been sexually assaulted and how the two got together on the night Comes first was absent from her home.
Chief Deputy Charles Sullins said the Comes family was pleased to have a suspect in custody. 'They're real relieved,' Sullins told reporters. 'They're very happy.'
Osteen said investigators talked to friends of Comes and Groves and to Comes family members in gathering incriminating evidence.
Asked if Groves and Comes knew each other very long, Osteen said, 'I don't know how long, but it'd be fair to say for a while.'
Osteen said the investigation team has a meeting scheduled with the Ellis County District Attorney's Office to go over evidence and determine if Groves should be prosecuted on a capital murder charge.