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    Tuesday, March 05, 2024

    Case of missing Groton man stumps investigators

    Max Scott, 27, of Groton went missing on the morning of June 26, 2022 in Groton. (Submitted photo)
    Max Scott, 27, went missing from Groton on June 26, 2022. Police continue to investigate. (Submitted photo)

    Groton ― On the night of June 25, 2022, 27-year-old Max Scott left his great uncle Dan Deleon’s Groton home with two acquaintances, walking less than a mile away to meet with others at a small trailer park at 137 South Road.

    The free-spirited local man with no criminal record never made it back home. It’s been a year and a half, and family members want answers and closure.

    Is Scott alive or dead? Family members who spoke to The Day think it is likely Scott is dead since it would be completely out of character for him to simply take off without a word to anyone. Police have also used cadaver dogs on occasion as part of their investigation.

    Investigators remain baffled about his disappearance, and he’s never been found despite numerous searches of the area with a variety of police resources. The lack of information surrounding the case has led to speculation ― without hard evidence ― that foul play was involved.

    What is known is that the blue-eyed, 6-foot 1-inch Ledyard native, who sported long hair and a beard, was living with his great uncle Dan “Uncle Danny” Deleon on Quincy Court in Groton for about eight years leading up to his disappearance. Deleon said he’d taken Scott in after his family lost their home to foreclosure in Ledyard and the family members all went their own ways.

    Scott was unemployed, drank and probably dabbled in some drugs, his family admitted. But Liz Deleon, Scott’s aunt and godmother, said he was on the quiet side, typically kept to himself and “wasn’t a trouble-maker.” She described him as “outdoorsy,” someone who loved the water, kayaking, fishing and camping. Dan Deleon said Scott was a good guy who had worked odd jobs landscaping and construction, enjoyed skateboarding bike riding. Scott had attended, but did not graduate from Ella T. Grasso Technical High School in Groton.

    Scott never made it home that night he went to the South Road trailer park. The park is a cluster of eight trailers situated just off the road across from the town-owned Calvin Burrows Park, near a Tilcon gravel-processing plant and not far from the Poquonnock River.

    Dan Deleon said he called the police on the afternoon of June 26 when Scott never showed up at home.

    During the subsequent investigation that included multiple interviews with the people who last saw Scott, police said they learned Scott left the South Road trailer park on foot at 2 a.m. on June 26 carrying a backpack.

    Groton Town Police declined to release names of people Scott was with on the night he disappeared or any further known details about the circumstances of Scott’s disappearance. Groton Town Police Capt. Gregory McCarthy said the department would release information if investigators thought it would help in the search, but also do not want to jeopardize an investigation.

    “Investigators believe there are members of the public who have information that will help in this case. We continue to solicit the assistance of the public,” Groton Town police said in a statement.

    Groton Town Police said investigative efforts to find Scott have included dozens of interviews with people known to have been in contact with Scott prior to his disappearance. The investigation has also included executing search and seizure warrants at undisclosed locations and searches at “multiple locations, both land and water-type areas, where information led investigators to believe items of evidentiary value may be located,” the statement reads.

    Liz Deleon said Bluff Point State Park was one of the search areas.

    Police said they used cadaver dogs, worked off boats and with the state police dive and marine units and deployed aerial and underwater drones and “other technologies.”

    Liz Deleon has been active on social media, spreading the word about her nephew and pleading for someone to come forward and share anything they know. Whatever tips she receives she shares with police. Some of the rumors, such as an alleged overdose that was covered up, seem plausible, she said, but in the end, “rumors are rumors.”

    “At the end of the day we just want to know where he is. I do believe he was partying with his friends and something happened,“ Liz Deleon said. ”There needs to be justice.“

    Dan Deleon said he joined in some of the area searches to locate his grand nephew’s body and was aided by a group of more than two dozen volunteers from a group called “Find Me,” a network of former law enforcement officials to aid in the search for missing people.

    Dan Deleon has additionally set up a GoFundMe online fundraiser. He said any money raised would go to fund the hiring of a private investigator or medium.

    “Yeah, I’m angry. Something transpired,” Dan Deleon said of the circumstances of Scott’s disappearance. “He wouldn’t hurt a soul. We want to do something for him, give a proper burial and some type of respect.”

    Anyone with information regarding Scott’s whereabouts is encouraged to call Groton Town Police at (860) 441-6712, or send an anonymous tip online at www.groton-ct.gov/departments/police/webtips.php

    g.smith@theday.com

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