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Police Raid Compound Of Texas Polygamist Sect

Monday, April 7, 2008

Police Raid Compound Of Texas Polygamist Sect

ELDORADO, Tex. -- Authorities who removed 219 women and children from a polygamist compound were struggling Sunday to determine whether they had the 16-year-old girl whose report of an underage marriage led them to raid the sprawling rural property.

Many people at the compound, built by followers of jailed polygamist leader Warren Jeffs, are related to one another and share similar names; investigators said in some cases they were giving different names at different times.

Law enforcement agents entered the compound's temple late Saturday to search for the girl, after a standoff with Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints members.

"There were some tense moments last night, but everything has remained calm and peaceful, and they are continuing their search," said Allison Palmer, a prosecutor from a nearby county handling the case.

State troopers were looking for evidence of a marriage between the girl, who allegedly had a baby at 15, and a 50-year-old man. Under Texas law, girls younger than 16 cannot marry, even with parental approval.

Marleigh Meisner, a spokeswoman for Child Protective Services, said investigators were still trying to determine whether the girl who called authorities last week was among the people, including 159 children, removed from the compound.

The FLDS broke away from the Mormon Church after the latter disavowed polygamy.

Mich. Melee Broken Up by Tear Gas

EAST LANSING, Mich. -- Police used tear gas to disperse a crowd at a large party near the campus of Michigan State University after fights broke out and officers were pelted with bottles and cans. Police said in a statement that 3,000 to 4,000 people had gathered for the Cedar Fest party late Saturday. They said 52 people were arrested and 48 others were ticketed for various offenses. Four fires were reported and windows were smashed on two police vehicles. "I don't see how we could have dispersed the crowd without tear gas," Police Chief Tom Wibert said Sunday.

Escaped Pa. Killer Caught in Calif.

GIRARD, Pa. -- A convicted killer who escaped from a Pennsylvania prison in a trash can was captured in California after boasting of an appearance on TV's "America's Most Wanted," Pennsylvania state police said. Malcolm Kysor, 54, was arrested in a Bakersfield park after someone notified police about the claim, police said. Kysor was carried out in a truck hauling garbage from the medium-security State Correctional Institution at Albion.

-- From News Services

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