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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. rianne

    February 20, 2014 at 11:58 am

    Crafts mother that is.

  2. lori

    February 20, 2014 at 1:10 pm

    Just saying the fundraisers and donations for non profits can use up to a large % of money for management, administration, and fundraising. Just throwing that in there.

  3. lori

    February 20, 2014 at 1:57 pm

    Think twice and inquire about these organizations you donate to…

  4. robbie

    February 20, 2014 at 2:54 pm

    From what I have learned Mr craft had a restraining order against him and not allowed contact with his daughter or his ex girlfriend. Such a shame for his daughter and Cory. But I believe the investigations on both parties will reveal all parties involved.

  5. Lori

    February 20, 2014 at 4:05 pm

    Mr crafts proceeds went to fund the ” free website” for his daughter… and then casa after his fees for setting up this free website and minus the cost of thet shirts of course. He was doing the same thing with Cory Cole website.

  6. Lori

    February 20, 2014 at 5:26 pm

    Of course they suddenly had to work on paperwork for Cory Cole page and took that part down because he was called out on it. Let the truth along with evidence prevail and stop all the none sense! Amen

  7. Nick Wright

    February 22, 2014 at 1:17 pm

    the mother was on drugs and has been doing drugs with Cole
    she went to Lynchburg for a drug deal.

  8. anon

    February 25, 2014 at 12:22 am

    actually craft doesnt use any money for his website its a facebook page you samantha supporters are screwed up in the head

    • ABC

      February 26, 2014 at 10:58 am

      Who do you think on here supports Samantha? Ive read all of the comments on here and despite the differences on other subjects seems to me the ONE thing all can and are agreeing on is that BOTH of these poor exuses of parents should be held accountable for the neglect and murder of this innocent baby. Just because people are not undersranding Mr. Crafts intentions or actions does not mean they are for Samantha… that sounds like something HE would say, and HAS said… all of these people on here are FOR CORY! No matter what they post on here, or bring attention to, we are for Cory.

  9. Bob

    February 25, 2014 at 6:48 pm

    If you had donated then you would know. That link was taken down. I don’t don’t think anyone is supporting the parents they just want the details so justice can be served.

  10. LT

    February 26, 2014 at 6:08 pm

    Hello short here. All these comments, rants, silent screams, and tears. It is good to see all the support for the poor baby. I wish just one person around him had just an ounce of this caring for him. Where were his grandparents? Aunts? Did no one see the drugs and alcohol?
    I hope this wakes other families up to abuse to report it.
    I do wish everyone would stop trying the case and coming up with all the “scene” that is thought to have happened. Before something is said out of anger that will interfere with the case.
    Would someone clarify why Mr. Craft called the police. And where are her belongings?
    Can we let this child rest in peace which he didn’t have in life?
    And direct this anger toward preventing it from happening again, changing laws? Most of what is here is directed towards her. Can’t we agree the blame is both? And stop putting each other down?
    Personally I hate my tax money is supporting them when I can’t get insurance for my special needs child… they have medical though.
    Maybe if we stop trying it on here, the law will charge the parents.