Probation chief: Protocol followed in testing

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.