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Lynchburg man reached out to Warden before calling police




Jonathan Craft, of Lynchburg, called Pulaski Police Department after reaching out to Samantha Warden, mother of Cory Cole, the infant who was found dead in a wooded area in Draper. Craft said he wanted to reach out to Warden, which he said he did through a media outlet, and let her know he knew what she was going through. He thought it would be helpful for her to be able to talk to someone who could relate and knew what she was going through. Craft’s 13-month-old daughter, Veralee Marie Craft, was killed in 2012 by the boyfriend of her mother, Preston King, who agreed to plead guilty to first degree murder charges.

Craft said he had never met Warden at all until Monday, Feb. 10. He talked to Warden which led to him ask if she needed to get out of town for a while. He offered to let her stay at his home for a few days, and she accepted. Craft said it didn’t take long before he realized something was off.

He said Warden talked about money and said she didn’t have enough for a grave marker, so Craft said he would help her set up a fundraiser. He set up a Facebook page, Justice for Cory Cole, modeled after the one made for his own daughter. Craft said he is a serious child abuse activist and is locally known for his involvement.

When Craft asked Warden about the abuse Cole inflicted on Cory, he mentioned the report of Cory being thrown on the bed by Cole. Craft said Warden told him she only told the cops Cory had been abused by Cole so they would get involved. “She said ‘he didn’t actually throw him on the bed, he tossed him,’” said Craft, who was very upset by the fact Warden didn’t seem to see tossing as abuse.

“She also said the police told her there were bite marks (on Cory) and that Cole used to bite her during sex, which was more than I needed to know.” Craft spoke of Warden’s promiscuous activity, saying she had been trying to “hook up with different guys in Lynchburg” since she had been at his home, and that she had been on a Skype call with a different guy in North Carolina who was going to come and pick her up and take her there.

Craft said after the many red flags he had seen from Warden, he decided he needed to act. “Things just started going in a different direction, so I contacted a Pulaski detective. I knew something wasn’t right,” said Craft.

He also said he still has her personal items at his home, and the guys she was staying with at “the little blue house in the middle of nowhere” asked if he was planning to bring the items back. Craft told them they could come and pick them up, that he would leave them outside. He said among the items left behind were an iPad with her personal information and Facebook messages readily accessible and drug paraphernalia. Craft tried to send these items with Campbell County police and said he was told they couldn’t take them because there was no room.

“When she got arrested at my house she showed no emotion,” said Craft. “The only thing she was worried about was whether or not she could change her clothes or have a cigarette. She wasn’t in shock.” Craft said at that point Warden called her parents and told them goodbye. “I think a lot more is going to come out of it. I think the full truth is going to come out.”


*Be sure to check out our weekend edition for more of this story.

117 Responses to Lynchburg man reached out to Warden before calling police

  1. Unknown

    February 13, 2014 at 6:32 pm

    This poor baby! Her to show no emotion how could you? Dear heaven please do not let that baby see any of this non sense! Them people act like animals not humans WTF?

  2. gloria donathan

    February 13, 2014 at 6:58 pm

    I think she had something to do with this little baby death she is out to get money sound like to me rip little one

    • oopsidaisy

      February 14, 2014 at 9:07 am

      I agree and believe this is likely why Cole has not been officially charged with murder yet. The autopsy is done so they know cause of death and any abusive marks on the baby’s body. If someone truly bit that child, teeth marks are as individual as finger prints and we will know who did that (God I hope it’s not true).

      Guessing both parents will stand trial for this crime.

  3. linda Sonner Campbell

    February 13, 2014 at 7:29 pm

    He Craft, Made The Offer To Warden If She ‘ Needed To Get Out Of Town For Awhile According To The Paper Clipping Here. And So She Did. To Get Away From All Thats Going On And People Threatning Her And Will Not Leave Her Alone. And Maybe He Wanted More Than Conversation And She Had’ To Take Luggage If She Was Going To Stay Awhile. And He Must Have Got Mad Or Jealous Probably. And Called The Cops On Her. She Showed No Emotion Because She Is Still In Shock Most Likley. He Offered(His Place) Why? What Was His Motive What Was He Wanting Out Of It. Samantha Did Get The Cops Involved It Said So Here! And If Some Of The Information Was More Than He Wanted To Know. He Should Not Had Invited Samantha To His Home To Stay For Awhile, So I Believe Craft Is Making A Lot Of This Up? Who Really Knows? I Am Sorry For The Loss Of His Daughter But He’ Craft Knew At This Point Loosing A Child How Vulnerable She Was. And I Think Was Taking Advantage Of The Situation. He Must Have Looked At Her Personal I-Pad For Information. None Of His Buisness He Had No Respect Going Through Samanthas Belongings.If Their Was Drugs He Could Had Put Them There’ Why Was He Going Through Her Personal Stuff? And I Believe The Cops Could Have Found Room For A I-Pad And Any Drugs That May Have Been Found. Just A Concerned Citizen Who Believes People Need To Mind Their Own Buisness.

    • Anon

      February 13, 2014 at 10:51 pm

      If more people had put their nose in Samanthas business maybe Cory would still be alive. I am a concerned citizen who believes we need to look out for each other more than we do, and quit worrying about who might get pissed off about it. Our world is going to hell in a handbasket and we are just standing around watching it happen.

      • jasper123

        February 14, 2014 at 1:13 am


      • A mom

        February 14, 2014 at 8:51 pm


    • Anonymous

      February 13, 2014 at 10:56 pm

      Really? You are seriously delusional!

    • myra

      February 14, 2014 at 2:25 pm

      You are sick!! You really think that this man wanted more than conversation with Samantha Warden ? He’s not blind !! She’s discusting!! No man in his right, sober, drug free mind would ever want or even think of touching this NASTY woman!! He’s just a nice man who suffered the tragic loss of his beautiful little girl and thought he could help this mother. CLEARLY he didnt know he was inviting EVIL in his house.Seriously I can not believe that you said these drugs are not Wardens, She cant even hold her eyes open all the way. Shes been “messed up” in every interview and picture she’s been “posing” for . Really, your going to take up for anyone involved in causing or letting someone elce cause this tiny baby boy’s little body to be in pain. Do you even think of what he went through before dying? I do. And I can tell you its been hard for me to shut my eyes at night because I wonder how he felt. Its almost to much to for your mind to bear. I would be ashamed to take up her if I were you. Hope your able to sleep tonight ( with all the worring about Samantha Taylors personal property)! Soooooo CRAZY!!!!

      • myra

        February 14, 2014 at 3:12 pm

        The comment I left earlier was for Linda Sonner Campbell . Jonathan Craft, You did the right thing so glad that you had the chance to find out what kind of person Samantha Taylor is. Please dont think that everyone here in Pulaski thinks badly of you because I know many people who are very thankful that you contacted the police. Also I would like to say that Im so sorry for the loss of your beautiful baby girl . I hope you will keep helping others even if sometimes the situation takes different turn.

    • jasper123

      February 14, 2014 at 5:37 pm

      i dont think he was wrong at all he tried to help she was trash and didnt want to stay in pulaski

    • Michelle Harris

      February 15, 2014 at 3:43 pm

      Linda Sonner Cambell, you have got to be kidding me!!!! This mother is GUILTY, CAN YOU UNDERSTAND THAT AND LADY, ITS EVERYONE BUSINESS WHEN AN INNOCENT BABY GETS MURDERED! Mr Craft did what he thought was right, but for some reason I believe if it was you who invited Samantha into your home…..you would be on her side……AND FOR THE RECORD I WILL REPEAT MYSELF FROM A CONCERNED CITIZEN…..IT IS MY BUISNESS WHEN I WANT JUSTICE!!!

    • WTH

      February 16, 2014 at 9:48 am

      Who in the world would travel to someones home they do not even know from ADAM to stay……TRASH, that is worthless and wanted to feed off of someone, thats who.Who can even function after something like this?A small bit of punishment, she is detoxing which I hear is pure HELL. She was involved in some sorts and I am glad that finally someone woke up to see that. I think Mr Craft was trying to help her, but guess what, she do not have to go. Its her nature to be that way. There is a reason that no charges have been in place because I guarantee you that they are not sure what exactly happened. But people in jail without bond says a lot about that person.

  4. jasper123

    February 13, 2014 at 8:10 pm


  5. Anonymous

    February 13, 2014 at 8:16 pm

    this is sum crazy crap god help these poor children of abuse….

  6. Kay

    February 13, 2014 at 8:35 pm

    I totally agree. I knew so much more would come out and that so called “mother” is hiding something. Thank goodness this man could see through her and contact the police. I think she was there when Cory died. Time will tell….

  7. Andy Hullender

    February 13, 2014 at 9:22 pm

    Were there is smoke there is fire. Sounds like she has acted trashy for some time and I hope that justice is served if she had anything to do with the child’s death.

  8. Teresa Bishop

    February 13, 2014 at 10:16 pm

    We all know who hurt this precious innocent child.Just come clean so this baby can rest in peace. This is so very very sad.

    • Allison M.

      February 14, 2014 at 4:18 pm

      Amen Teresa!

  9. anonymous

    February 13, 2014 at 10:56 pm

    From what ive heard craft is working with authorities still. Why bash a guy who is trying his hardest to get baby cory justice. ..must be someone from that trashy druggy family complaining

    • jasper123

      February 14, 2014 at 1:15 am

      he is and he has alot to say

  10. joselle schooley

    February 13, 2014 at 11:05 pm

    I feel so bad for this baby please lord help this lil boy. Bring him to heaven to be near you lord. And the mother should be ashamed of herself for this… life sentance should be her punishment. Sorry for the lose of the grandparents and other family members. God have mercy on her soul