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Lynchburg man reached out to Warden before calling police

By SARAH BRADBURY

sarah@southwesttimes.com

 

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. tammy

    February 14, 2014 at 5:39 pm

    If u look at the Justice for Cory Cole website it clearly states in regards to the grave art fund that it goes to the funeral home. Bower funeral expenses are paid. When u go to donate it clearly states all proceeds go to Joyce Craft? Would like some clarification on this matter.

    • Anonymous

      February 15, 2014 at 10:45 am

      The fund was removed he said if people want to donate it to give it to the funeral home

      • tammy

        February 15, 2014 at 3:02 pm

        It was removed after it was commented on. It was exactly as stated. Also they were selling t shirts for $20. Again saying all going to funeral home until u clicked on link to give money which clearly said all proceeds go directly to Joyce Craft.

        • Anonymous

          February 16, 2014 at 10:26 am

          Which was the same person who handled his grave marker why are you soo concerned about the grave marker and not the child

        • Anonymous

          February 17, 2014 at 10:23 pm

          The t-shirts were removed from the page because the funeral home was already taking care of the grave marker, not because it was commented on. None of the money was going to Craft.

  2. tammy

    February 14, 2014 at 5:40 pm

    If u look at the Justice for Cory Cole website it clearly states in regards to the gravemarker fund that it goes to the funeral home. Bower funeral expenses are paid. When u go to donate it clearly states all proceeds go to Joyce Craft? Would like some clarification on this matter.

  3. Idiocracy

    February 14, 2014 at 7:18 pm

    The child is buried in a private cemetery overseen by the Warden family. That whole flippin’ family is plum psycho– the mother especially– and I think Craft is going to meet some difficulty in trying to place a gravemarker for this baby, especially since he “ratted her out” when she was preparing to flee to another state. I am glad the police FINALLY arrested that crazy-house because I felt all along she had something to do with it. She should be ashamed of herself for trying to manipulate the media and community with her “I’m a victim” crap! Now there is only one thing left to do… give that THANG a rope.

  4. lori

    February 14, 2014 at 9:50 pm

    The fact she had physical custody says a lot. Also he was living with her and her family says a lot. So many questions… apparently he didn’t have a job but had a car, alcohol, and drugs. Why did she leave that baby and where were the other family members who lived there?

  5. Lori

    February 14, 2014 at 9:58 pm

    I had my doubts too however about Jonathan Craft but I looked up his story and he is the real deal. I totally understand why he tried to help her and is still fighting this cause!

  6. Lynn

    February 14, 2014 at 10:20 pm

    She definitely didn’t care about the baby. You could tell she was high at the vigil. I hope they both get put to death. They’re a waste of oxygen

  7. Lynn

    February 14, 2014 at 10:20 pm

    She definitely didn’t care about the baby. You could tell she was high at the vigil. I hope they both get put to death. They’re a waste of oxygen

  8. Real World

    February 14, 2014 at 10:58 pm

    It is a normal reaction for those that have no clue how things actually work with the legal system to blame someone. CPS workers and Police Officers work under the laws and guidelines that YOUR elected Governmental Officials create. Maybe you should go sit in court and see how lawyers manipulate the law to make many criminals look like victims of the ones that enforce these laws. Maybe you should look at the Juvenile Judge and see how many kids that are removed by CPS that are given back. Does anyone remember Trevor Hylton? 3 year old that the drug addicted mother let suffer before he died for hours because he was given back to her after being removed due to her drug use by CPS. That was not a CPS decision or law enforcement, that was a Judge that was giving a known addict her child back under her promise she would stop! Open your eyes people. I challenge any of you to do what our CPS workers and law enforcement officers do. How would you like to see children in the worst of environments and weeks later when everyone is cleaned up and wearing a suit or dress with a lawyer, have a Judge place the child back in the environment. Most of you don’t have the stomach to do what these people do and still have compassion to keep fighting for those that can’t. Go do a law enforcement or CPS ride-along and see how the world really is. I see all these posts up in arms, but yet if I attend a Town Council meeting or Board of Supervisors, I see a handful of people. That is who controls how many police you have, local ordinances, and where money is spent and for what in our communities. Governments main role is public safety and yet you allow your elected officials to spend money on ridiculous unnecessary things and cut the budgets of the ones that provide that safety. Get involved and voice you opinion through your elected officials on what priorities should be funded. Do we have enough parks or do we have an officer in every school. Which is more important when the crap hits the fan? Get involved or give your opinion without blaming those that are out there doing what most could not do. I might add for very little pay too!!!!!

  9. C.J

    February 15, 2014 at 10:46 am

    How do we know or Social Services know the other children are safe, the sister in law and brothers children… I would love to know why they didnt say anything from the time they moved in with them, you know they knew something. So sad. This really makes me appritiate my family’s love and concern for my children. If it were me they would have never let it come down to this. Family or not.

  10. Bessie85

    February 15, 2014 at 7:11 pm

    Real World said it best, GET INVOLVED!!! Contact the elected officials and tell them how you feel. This blog may be read by a few, but it cannot influence the people in charge, only an email or phone call will accomplish that.