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Judge rules Jessica McCreery able to stay with daughter

7-month-old daughter will receive medical care

Jessica McCreery, Penelope Hogarth.
Jessica McCreery, Penelope Hogarth.

ALTAMONTE SPRINGS, Fla. – A judge has ruled that Jessica McCreery will be able to stay with her daughter while she receives the medical care she needs.

A woman and her 7-month-old child had been found out of the state by detectives, Altamonte Springs police said Saturday.

[RELATED: Cops: Infant to be placed into CPS custody]

The department confirmed Saturday that Jessica McCreery and 7-month-old Penelope were found out of the state. No other information was given by police.

McCreery will appear at an 8:30 a.m. dependency review hearing at the juvenile courthouse in Sanford on Tuesday to discuss the care plan for her child, McCreery's attorney Mark O'Mara said.

O'Mara said in a statement that he and Seminole County Sheriff's Office Child Protective Services arranged for McCreery and Penelope to join representatives from the SCSO, who assisted her in coming back to Central Florida.

"Once home, baby Penelope was seen by appropriate medical personnel, who have conducted an evaluation and made recommendations for her care," O'Mara said.

According to O'Mara, McCreery is not facing any charges.

"We are working together with SCSO Child Protective Services towards a solution that will keep (the) mother and child together," O'Mara said. "We appreciate all the concern and outpouring of support for baby Penelope and Jessica during this very trying time, and ask that you please continue to keep them in your prayers as we move forward."

Police issued a statewide search and alerted authorities outside of Florida to help track down McCreery and Penelope after they said McCreery refused to take her daughter to see a doctor. That came after police said CPS reviewed pictures that showed signs of the child being malnourished and needed medical attention.

O'Mara on Thursday provided a photo to police that showed McCreery and Penelope holding a sign with Thursday's date.

Asked if police believed that the photographs were legitimate, O'Mara said, "Absolutely. I don't think they have any concerns that those photos were not taken (Thursday)."

The case began May 5 when Child Protective Services first visited the family's home on Adelaide Boulevard after an anonymous caller indicated that Penelope might not be properly cared for.

Pictures of Jessica McCreery, 21, and 7-month-old Penelope Hogarth sent to Local 6 News by attorney Mark O'Mara.
Pictures of Jessica McCreery, 21, and 7-month-old Penelope Hogarth sent to Local 6 News by attorney Mark O'Mara.

Altamonte Springs police said Penelope was not born in a hospital, and authorities don't believe that she's ever been checked by a medical professional. CPS investigators said the child was underweight, and they told McCreery to seek medical attention for the child.

When CPS investigators returned to the home Tuesday for a checkup on Penelope, they discovered that the mother and daughter were not only gone, but there were no signs that a baby ever lived there.

Instead, investigators said they found marijuana plants growing inside, and they arrested Hogarth. He was taken into custody on drug and child neglect charges.  Police said Hogarth refused to say where McCreery and the baby were.

Hogarth bonded out of jail Wednesday afternoon and later retained O'Mara.

Watch Local 6 News and stay with ClickOrlando.com for updates on this developing story.