Officials question kids at Warren Jeffs retreat

ELDORADO, Texas€”State child welfare investigators are interviewing children at a religious retreat built by polygamist sect leader Warren Jeffs, officials said Friday.

Child Protective Services is “investigating whether any children are in danger,” said spokeswoman Marleigh Meisner. She said no decisions had been made on whether to remove any children.

The Texas Department of Public Safety and other law enforcement helped investigators gain access to the complex near Eldorado, Meisner said.

Schleicher County Justice of the Peace James C. Doyle says local officials were notified yesterday that law enforcement agencies were investigating at the compound.

“There are DPS cars on the road blocking all entrances into that area,” he said.

The retreat was built by the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. The congregation, known as FLDS and led by the reclusive Jeffs since his father’s death in 2002, is one of several groups that split from the Salt Lake City-based Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in the decades after it renounced polygamy in 1890.

Jeffs was sentenced to two consecutive sentences of five years to life in prison in Utah. That was after he was found guilty of being an accomplice to the rape of a 14-year-old girl who wed her cousin in an arranged marriage in 2001.

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AP, via the El Paso Times, USA
Apr. 4, 2008

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