A public memorial service for Dylan James Groene, 9, is scheduled for 1 p.m. Saturday at Real Life Ministries in Post Falls.
Dylan’s death is still the subject of a federal homicide investigation, and the exact date of his death is still uncertain. He was born July 16, 1995, to Brenda and Steve Groene. He would have turned 10 on Saturday.
Dylan’s remains were discovered July 4 in Montana’s Lolo National Forest at a remote campsite seven weeks after his mother, Brenda, her boyfriend, Mark McKenzie, and Dylan’s older brother, 13-year-old Slade Groene, were found bludgeoned to death in their Wolf Lodge-area home.
Dylan and his 8-year-old sister Shasta were missing from the homicide scene, having been allegedly abducted by the murder suspect, Joseph E. Duncan III, a 42-year-old sex offender from Fargo, N.D.
Shasta was rescued, and Duncan arrested, when she was recognized at the Coeur d’Alene Denny’s on July 2. Shasta is now home with her father, and Duncan is being held without bail in the Kootenai County Jail on three counts of first-degree murder and three counts of kidnapping.
Among family members expected to attend the service will be Jesse Groene, Shasta’s 18-year-old brother who is in the Shoshone County Jail awaiting transport to a state correctional facility on a burglary conviction. On Wednesday, 1st District Judge John Mitchell granted Jesse Groene an afternoon furlough to attend the service.
Dylan is survived by his father, Steve Groene, sister, Shasta Groene, brothers Jesse and Vance Groene, all of Coeur d’Alene; grandparents Linda Groene, Bill Ramirez, Doug and Mary Matthews, Darlene and Rocky Torres; great-grandmothers Marie McDaniel and Maudie Nimmo; and numerous aunts, uncles and cousins.
Donations to help with funeral and other family expenses can be made to Idaho Northwest Banks, U.S. Banks and Panhandle State Banks.