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Probation chief: Protocol followed in testing

January 14, 2011

COLUMBIA CITY — While family members of 5-month-old Taylor Creech continue to come forward with claims of official negligence regarding the drug case that may be connected to the little girl’s Jan. 3 death, the Whitley County Probation Department is saying all that could be done was done.
“The Whitley County Probation Department is extremely saddened by the death of Taylor Creech,” said Chief Probation Officer Amy Motter Thursday.
“Our sympathies are extended to the entire Creech family.“
In a prepared statement submitted to The Post & Mail, Motter said that while under probation supervision, Taylor’s mother, Janel Creech, submitted to random drug testing.
“Since August of 2010, four drug tests were administered to Ms. Creech,” said Motter.
“The first three did not indicate the presence of illegal substances. The fourth test, submitted to on Dec. 21, 2010, indicated the presence of methamphetamine. The test results were received by the probation department from AIT Laboratories on Dec. 23, 2010.”
Motter said a probation violation charge was filed with the court Dec. 30, 2010, and a warrant was immediately issued.
Creech is currently incarcerated on drug charges that were a result of a 911 call Jan. 3.
As a result of that call, Taylor was taken to the hospital where she was pronounced dead.
Police found evidence of a methamphetamine lab in the home and charges have been filed against Creech and 21-year-old Travis Wonderly, who remains at large.
Pending results of the baby’s autopsy, no charges have been filed in her death.
Sisters of Janel Creech came forward this week saying they had asked county officials to intervene on behalf of the little girl and had received no response.
Miranda Minear said she contacted Probation Officer Doug Jones on Nov. 11. Minear provided a copy of the e-mail.
In that correspondence, Minear said she feared for Taylor’s safety and said she was sure her sister was using drugs again.
“Since Oct. 1, 2010, three home visits were attempted by the Whitley County Probation Department with no success,” said Motter.
Meanwhile, another family member has come forward claiming she too had asked for help on behalf of the little girl.
That family member said she called law enforcement in early December with her concerns for Taylor after the little girl was dropped off at her house.
The family member said she contacted police, who told her there were no warrants out for Creech, but that the information would be passed on to the Drug Task Force.
“Upon our department receiving notification that Janel Creech violated her probation, appropriate action was taken in that a probation violation (charge) was filed with the court,” said Motter late this morning.
“New criminal charges have also been brought against her by the State of Indiana,” said Motter, referring to the drug charges filed early this week.
“The public needs to be aware that the probation department does not have authority to remove children from their homes,” said Motter.


whitley county

February 25, 2011 by impeach obamo (not verified), 4 years 13 weeks ago
Comment: 3160

similiar thing is very likely on magley lane, shouldnt be hard to figure out as there is only one home on magley with very young children in it. but alas we rarely see any county police at round lake even though we pay much higher taxes.

whitley county

February 25, 2011 by impeach obamo (not verified), 4 years 13 weeks ago
Comment: 3159

a similiar incident is in the making on magley lane, but we never have any police around here. shouldnt be to hard to do a little investigative work, whitley couty police, as there is only one home with babies in it full time on magley lane.


February 8, 2011 by dmgdprincess (not verified), 4 years 15 weeks ago
Comment: 3147

It really shouldnt matter if there was a warrant or not.... the fact that various people came to authorities to express concerns for baby Taylor about her welfare should have been enough for ANYONE to go to that home, sit there and wait, going for a visit surely isnt enough. Janels extensive criminal background stemming from drugs, and the fact that she has had her previous children taken away from her should have been a HUGE red flag for authorities in and out of DCS.... Not only do I hold Janel responsible to the fullest extent for what happened to baby Taylor, but also the justice system of whitley co... YOU FAILED TO PROTECT THAT CHILD!!!!

Local officials only want recognition

January 18, 2011 by local guy (not verified), 4 years 18 weeks ago
Comment: 3136

Its terrible that a baby has died, both police departments know her on a first name basis. The only reason she wasn't sitting in jail is because the county wouldn't make any money off of her arrest. But don't speed on 30! I see at least 4 different cops running US30 all the time looking for speeders for revenue! Its to bad a little baby died because whitley county couldn't make any money from protecting her....I would to hear whitley counties reason for not serving that warrant?

Creech Family

January 15, 2011 by momof2 (not verified), 4 years 19 weeks ago
Comment: 3131

How very sad that this family tried to intervene to help Baby Taylor, only to get caught up in the various gov't agencies passing the buck.....Probation and DCS should be communicating with each other. Why does it take 7 days after a positive drug test, with the family's concerns already on record, to get a warrant? Why would DCS leave a card to alert this mother that they had concerns (how many people would call DCS if they are neglecting their children?) This is a mother who already had children taken from her.....this should have been a higher priority.....And now, everyone will be passing the buck, avoiding responsibility, and pointing fingers elsewhere. Janel Creech is responsible for her actions, not her family, who tried but were limited by our county gov't.


January 15, 2011 by Opinionated (not verified), 4 years 19 weeks ago
Comment: 3130

Does it ever occur to you who are so quick to judge that there may be confidential information that occurs in probation and DCS? Maybe it couldn't be published for the world to see. You go ahead and point fingers because you are absolutely sure that everything was done on your end, right? Or is it the guilt that makes you point your finger?

Also, the criminal justice system is supposed to operate on a FACTUAL basis. Anything that is reported about one person from another is HERESAY. It appears, from the article above, that when the probation department had FACTUAL information (the positive drug test), appropriate actions were taken with the Court (violation of probation and warrant). It also states, in the article above, that home visits were attempted in response to the "tips" the department received. She also got drug tested and they came back clean three times before the dirty one, according to the article.

Just something for you all to mull over while you all pass judgement and decide who's fault it is. Rest in peace baby Taylor - may you sit with the Heavenly Father, free from the bondage of this condemned world!

Creech Baby dies

January 14, 2011 by gwimwbs (not verified), 4 years 19 weeks ago
Comment: 3123

I know for a fact that at least four family members contacted Whitley County Child Protective Service, the Probabtion department & the Col.City Chief of Police. All these claims began in early fall of 2010 & continued through December. Family members all tried to care for Taylor whenever and for as much time as Janel would allow. The police even told one family member that Taylor must be returned to Janel since there were no warrants out for Janel's arrest, even though that family member told the officer that Janel was using drugs & making crystal meth. If DFCS, Probation & the Chief of Police won't act, what more could have been done???

Emergency custody, her

February 8, 2011 by dmgdprincess (not verified), 4 years 15 weeks ago
Comment: 3148

Emergency custody, her criminal background could have been enough for the basis of that claim.

Well if the family contacted

January 15, 2011 by SaraO (not verified), 4 years 19 weeks ago
Comment: 3126

Well if the family contacted child protective services then why are they putting the blame on the probation department? You would think that they would be blaming child protectie services since they are the ones that actually have the authority to remove children from their homes. Maybe they contacted the local office, but I assume they didn't follow through by contacting the 1-800 number, which is required in order for a local office to begin an investigation. I just think there is a bit more to the story and we the public are getting a very one sided view.

Yes, there is a bit more....I

January 15, 2011 by kathy (not verified), 4 years 19 weeks ago
Comment: 3134

Yes, there is a bit more....I would think the Probation Dept. would work closely with the police department. (Aren't people on probation because of criminal acts??) So how can it take them 7 weeks to notify the police. As stated in a previous article, if you're on probation a search warrant is not needed. If the family was supposed to call an 800 number(which makes no sense)why didn't the probation office tell them so. Regardless, I would think someone working in Probation Dept., DFS, or Police Dept. would make sure every step was taken to rescue this child. This should be the Number 1 priority!

Home visits were attempted,

January 15, 2011 by SaraO (not verified), 4 years 19 weeks ago
Comment: 3135

Home visits were attempted, if you read the above article, that is when a search without a warrant would be attempted. As for the 1-800 number that is how you report abuse in the State of Indiana, it is not the local DCS offices fault, but the state government that made those changes. And I'm sure that each county office that was contacted by the family of Janel Creech told them who to call to report abuse/neglect. Also, just and FYI, if you were to call the local DCS Office it states the number you HAVE to call to report abuse as soon as the phone is answered. Everyone is so quick to blame one department, when in reality it isn't just one person or agency who is to blame. There are probably a lot of people, the family included, who could have done more.

Apparently personal time to

February 8, 2011 by dmgdprincess (not verified), 4 years 15 weeks ago
Comment: 3149

Apparently personal time to possibly save a child was never in thier game plan....

Your mistake is thinking that

January 14, 2011 by Observer (not verified), 4 years 19 weeks ago
Comment: 3121

Your mistake is thinking that I care what you have to say about my opinion.


January 14, 2011 by SaraO (not verified), 4 years 19 weeks ago
Comment: 3119

Besides complaining to probation, what exactly did the family do to help avoid this tragedy? Did the family petition the Court to try to get guardianship of Taylor? Did the family call the 1-800 number to report child abuse/neglect so that an investigation could begin? It sounds like the family just expected probation to fix the problem. It appears that probation did everything that was within their power and filed a violation when they had a basis for a violation. I'm sure the family is hurting and I am sorry for their loss, but all the blame should not be placed on an agency, when it appears there is more that the family could have done.

Laziness at its finest.

January 14, 2011 by coltsfan (not verified), 4 years 19 weeks ago
Comment: 3117

While the probation department has no authority to remove a child, if they believe a child is danger they SHOULD BE on the phone to DFC who DOES have the authority. This department is a joke, and the finger pointing and CYA has already began. Face it, you dropped the ball and a child IS DEAD, a child who didn't get a welfare check done even after the mother tested positive for Meth. To the Creech family I'm sorry for your loss, you need a lawyer...get one from Indy or Chicago, someone who isnt one of the good old boys.

Get an out-of-town Lawyer NOW

January 14, 2011 by gwimwbs (not verified), 4 years 19 weeks ago
Comment: 3124

You cannot escape the good old boy mentality here in Columbia City. Even the press fears to report everything because they will be "freezed out" by Col.City officials, therefore jeapordizing their jobs.

Sounds like someone has a

January 14, 2011 by Observer (not verified), 4 years 19 weeks ago
Comment: 3122

Sounds like someone has a grudge.

How do you know the probation

January 14, 2011 by SaraO (not verified), 4 years 19 weeks ago
Comment: 3120

How do you know the probation department didn't contact DCS? DCS at some point showed up, it states that in the orginal article. And then the family was mad because the meth user mom got scared and stopped having contact with the family.


January 14, 2011 by gypsytanlira (not verified), 4 years 19 weeks ago
Comment: 3116

When I get hurt at work I have to submit to a drug test. Before I even arrive back to work, the company doing the drug screen has already called my employer with the results. Why is Whitley County using a lab that takes so long to process samples? I realize that two days is not a long time, but when you are dealing with repeat and habitual offenders, the result times should be expedited. And in this case more so since her family was calling with concerns for her and the childs well being. I believe Whitley County dropped the ball on Taylor.


January 14, 2011 by Observer (not verified), 4 years 19 weeks ago
Comment: 3115

Of course it's the fault of the probation department and DCS. After all, it couldn't possibly be the fault of the meth-smoking mom or her family who expected their problems to be solved by everyone else.

Your response is absurd.

January 14, 2011 by coltsfan (not verified), 4 years 19 weeks ago
Comment: 3118

The family tried to get help BEFORE the child died and were passed off. If they dont act on a tip that an innocent child is being raised by a meth user, then why have a DFC? What EXACTLY is their purpose supposed to be?

I agree.

January 15, 2011 by concerned (not verified), 4 years 19 weeks ago
Comment: 3127

I agree.

It is my understanding there

January 14, 2011 by kathy (not verified), 4 years 19 weeks ago
Comment: 3113

It is my understanding there was an outstanding warrant for noncompliance. Also, considering she was on probation, her past history and family members pleas for help it does not take 7 weeks when a child is involved. Please keep this investigation going.

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