Update: Abilene CPS supervisors still in charge despite criminal investigation

Office of Inspector General Investigating Abilene CPS office

ABILENE, Texas - The three Child Protective Services supervisors who Abilene police are investigating for possible tampering with or fabricating evidence, in a case related to a child's death, have maintained their leadership roles at the office as of Wednesday.

The state's Office of Inspector General is also investigating. Texas Department of Family and Protective Services Spokesman Patrick Crimmins said they will conduct an internal investigation and that they are "cooperating fully" with Abilene police.

The death of 22-month-old Tamryn Klapheke, who died from her mother Tiffany's alleged neglect August 28 led to the investigation.

During a joint investigation between Abilene police and CPS, police said they became suspicious of CPS supervisors. 

A search warrant affidavit questions the conduct of CPS Regional Director Bit Whitaker, Program Director Gretchen Denny and Investigation Supervisor Barbara McDaniel.

CPS had been involved in the Klapheke home on Dyess Air Force Base 11 months before Tamryn's death. The affidavit claims CPS caseworker Claudia Gonzalez closed a neglect investigation on Tamryn just six days before the child died. Gonzalez resigned September 13 and, according to CPS, did not follow CPS protocol when she closed the case.

According to a state memo, Gonzalez's supervisor, Barbara McDaniel, was formally disciplined twice and put on a six month probation for not tracking Gonzalez's work. It reads: "Your lack of follow-up and supervision resulted in Ms. Gonzalez not having regular contact with the family and ensuring the children's safety."   

Police searched CPS Tuesday for evidence that supervisors had tampered with or fabricated evidence in the Tamryn Klapheke case. If charged, they face third degree felony charges.

The affidavit claimed CPS workers told police that their supervisors instructed them to not cooperate with law enforcement during the investigation of Tamryn's death.

As of Wednesday, Tamryn's mother, Tiffany Klapheke, is in the Taylor County Jail on bond totaling $500,000 for three felony counts of injury to a child. Her other two daughters, who also suffered from neglect, were treated at Cook Children's Medical Center in Fort Worth. They were placed in foster care upon their release.

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