Frustrated is the word 21-year-old Jessica McCreery repeated after her hearing at the Juvenile Justice Center in Sanford Tuesday. Her 8-month-old baby, Penelope “Penny,” is in the state’s custody. She has since been placed with a foster family.
McCreery said she has not visited her daughter in eight days; only seen a picture. The mother said her baby looks, “good and happy.”
She also stated Penny has gained weight.
Jessica said she has not spoken to the foster family and they have yet to set up a time to visit Penny. She was granted visitation, but the foster family wants outside supervision, according to family attorney Mark O’Mara. The baby will indefinitely remain in foster care as McCreery and the baby’s father, 46-year-old David Hogarth, work to complete requirements deemed by a judge.
The attorney said he believes Florida's Department of Children and Families is not doing enough for the family to get visitation time.
O’Mara reported Jessica has gotten a job and is working toward finding an apartment. Once McCreery and Hogarth find a new dwelling, they will be a step closer to regaining custody of their daughter. The attorney also told the media the shortest he can hope the family can be reunited is several weeks.
Monday, McCreery posted a lengthy letter on Craigslist, pouring out emotions about her relationship with Hogarth. The letter also gives reason to why she disappeared with the baby last month. Jessica said she wrote the letter out of frustration.
She wrote, “There is and never was ANYTHING wrong with [Penelope].”