LAKEWOOD, Colo. — Federal agents searched a Lakewood home for one of the FBI’s 10 most wanted fugitives Tuesday, but came up empty.
The agents were looking for Warren Jeffs, 50, the president and prophet of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.
Jeffs has been a fugitive since June 2005, when he was indicted on sex crimes in Arizona for allegedly marrying a 16-year-old girl to an older man. In April, Utah prosecutors charged him with two counts of rape as an accomplice for allegedly forcing another underage girl into marriage.
Jeffs has not been seen in two years.
Agents searched the home in the 2600 block of South Flower Street around noon Tuesday, but made no arrests. They wouldn’t say if they found anything that related to Jeffs. The couple in the home had been renting it for about a month.
The reward for information leading to Jeffs’ arrest was raised to $100,000 when he was placed on the FBI’s most wanted list over the weekend.
The FLDS church is based in the border communities of Colorado City, Ariz., and Hildale, Utah.
It also has compounds in Eldorado, Texas; Mancos, Colo.; Pringle, S.D.; and British Columbia, and a farm near Pioche, Nev.
Church members believe The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints went the wrong direction when it abandoned polygamy more than a century ago as Utah was seeking statehood. The great majority of the polygamists are believed to have been raised in the sects, while a small number leave the Mormon Church to join them.
The Mormon Church excommunicates members who practice or advocate polygamy.