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KLAPHEKE DEATH: State leader visits Abilene CPS, as probe continues into allegations of wrongdoing

By Ariana Garza, Weekend Anchor/Crime & Courts Reporter, agarza@ktxs.com
Published On: Oct 18 2012 03:56:09 PM CDT
Updated On: Jan 27 2014 03:17:01 PM CST
ABILENE, Texas -

Texas Department of Family and Protective Services Commissioner Howard Baldwin visited staffers in the Abilene office Thursday, addressing criminal and internal probes involving three Child Protective Services supervisors who are being investigated by Abilene police.

Police are looking into CPS Regional Director Bit Whitaker, ex-Program Director Gretchen Denny and Investigation Supervisor Barbara McDaniel for allegedly tampering with or fabricating evidence in the case of deceased 22-month-old Tamryn Klapheke.

Tamryn’s mother, 22-year-old Tiffany Klapheke, remains in Taylor County Jail on $500,000 bond on charges that she severely neglected Tamryn and her two sisters.

On Thursday, KTXS learned Denny moved out of her role as a supervisor on Oct. 1, shortly after Tamryn Klapheke was found dead. Denny’s new role has her no longer overseeing caseworkers and instead merely reviewing case findings.

TDFPS spokesman Patrick Crimmins said Denny’s change in position didn’t occur because of the Klapheke case and that she hasn’t been demoted.

Meanwhile, Crimmins said Baldwin was in Abilene on Thursday to meet with staff and discuss the investigation with them.

On Wednesday, KTXS reported the state Inspector General is also investigation and that TDFPS is also conducting an internal investigation.