Texas officials: 219 FLDS women and kids held; compound search only half complete

Texas officials said Sunday afternoon they had removed 219 women and children from a FLDS ranch but were only halfway through their search of the compound.

Marleigh Meisner, a spokeswoman for the Texas Child Protective Service, gave the new total at an afternoon news conference at 3 p.m. CST. Three hours later, another bus filled with women and children left the ranch, owned by the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.

Meisner said authorities still have not identified or located a 16-year-old girl who called for help and said she had been physically abused. That call sparked a raid that began Thursday night at the ranch, outside the town of Eldorado.

The girl may be in the group of 60 women and 159 children, but if she is, she has not stepped forward, Meisner said.

The caller provided “limited information,” she said, adding it is difficult to discern the ages of girls in the group and that “this is a community where names are changed.”

The caller provided “limited information,” she said, adding it is difficult to discern the ages of girls in the group and that “this is a community where names are changed.”


Still, Meisner said: “I am confident this girl does indeed exist,” and that the abuse allegation is legitimate.

Asked if FLDS members have been forced to leave the ranch, Meisner said, “I do not believe we forced them to leave. They knew what their options were.”

Many of the children are with their mothers, she said. The group is today being moved from facilities in Eldorado to the historic Fort Concho in nearby San Angelo.

At the fort, it will be easier to care for the women and children and they can be in one place, Meisner said.

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Source

(Listed if other than Religion News Blog)
The Salt Lake Tribune, USA
Apr. 6, 2008
Brooke Adams
origin.sltrib.com

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This post was last updated: Dec. 16, 2016