Polygamist's Compound Raided; Dozens Removed

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

ELDORADO, Texas -- Child welfare officials say they have removed nearly 200 women and children from a secretive West Texas religious retreat built by polygamist leader Warren Jeffs.

The investigation began after a 16-year-old living there complained of physical abuse.

A search warrant authorized state troopers to enter the retreat run by the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and look for evidence of a marriage between the girl and a 50-year-old man.

The search warrant said the girl had a baby eight months ago, when she was 15.

On Friday, Child Protective Services removed 52 girls from the compound. Marleigh Meisner, a spokeswoman for the agency, said another 131 residents were removed overnight, and by Saturday afternoon, 137 children and 46 women were being housed and interviewed at local community centers.

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