Investigation into abuse claims ongoing

Conrad child care facility, director under scrutiny

T-R PHOTO BY CHUCK FRIEND The Grundy County Sheriff’s Office is investigating child abuse claims at the Wolf Creek Child Care and Preschool in Conrad.

CONRAD — The investigation continues into accusations of child abuse against Wolf Creek Child Care and its preschool director, according to local law enforcement.

“We received a complaint on April 24 and began an investigation into the matter,” said Grundy County Sheriff Rick Penning. “I was just advised this morning (April 28) of the other complaint that was reported to be filed by a local woman on July 5, 2016, but we have not pulled the files on that one yet so I cannot comment on that.”

Penning went on to add, “I think as the news gets out, there will be other people who think they too were victims will also come forward. I really believe this will be an open and ongoing investigation.”

According to news sources, the facility’s preschool director was reportedly to have allegedly grabbed a child by the shoulders. Penning said he could not go into any case details, but said there were several rumors going around as to what may have happened.

Grundy County Sheriff’s Deputy Kirk Dolleslager, who is the chief investigator in the case, said he expects this to go much longer than next week, as many interviews are planned and others expected to be scheduled. Penning said the interviews are being conducted with parents of children who attend the Wolf Creek center, as well as with many of the children themselves, if they are old enough and want to talk with a deputy.

Both Penning and Dolleslager were quick to point out that no charges have been filed against the preschool director and no arrests have been made at this time.

Penning said his office will continue to schedule and conduct interviews until all of the facts are determined and then take the findings to the Grundy County Attorney who would eventually be the person who would file any charges. The sheriff also said that the files from the previous case would be pulled and reviewed as a part of the continuing investigation.

One of the Wolf Creek Board of Directors, Kathryn Bartling, told the T-R that the preschool director is currently on paid administrative leave.