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Entries in Colorado City (2)

Thursday
Oct132011

Warren Jeffs' Wife Escapes Polygamist Community

TRENT NELSON/AFP/Getty Images(COLORADO CITY, Ariz.) -- One of the wives of polygamist leader Warren Jeffs, who is currently serving a life sentence for child sexual assault, escaped the confines of the isolated Arizona community where his 85 other wives live.

Arizona authorities say the 25-year-old woman who fled the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, which was led by Jeffs, is now undergoing counseling and psychiatric care at a women's shelter. She was reportedly barefoot when she was found.

The secluded community of the church in Colorado City, Ariz., contains about 5,000 residents and is a world where outsiders are not welcomed.

Willie Jeesop, a former FLDS spokesman who was kicked out of the religion by Jeffs, said that the unidentified woman was under duress when she sought refuge with Jeffs in Colorado City.

Carolyn Jessop is a former Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints member who also fled polygamy and Colorado City and went on to write the book "Escape," which looks back on the events that led her to break free from the oppressive world of polygamy. She says that the woman's need to flee the Church indicates that she was under great duress.

"Things have had to be pretty serious for her, to the point where death was better than living the way she was living ," Jessop said. "She must have reached a point where it just didn't matter anymore and was really to take whatever risks and consequences if she didn't make it ."

While the newly escaped woman undergoes counseling and therapy, her husband Jeffs, 55, continues his life sentence after being found guilty in August of forcing two teenage girls into "spiritual marriage," and fathering a child with one of them when she was 15.

On August 29 it was reported that Jeffs had fallen into a coma after fasting for three days. Three weeks later it was reported that he was discharged from the hospital and would receive further treatment in a prison infirmary.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio´╗┐

Wednesday
Jan052011

Texas Refuses to Issue Amber Alert for Missing Girl

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(Colorado City, Texas) -- A small Texas town is upset that the state is refusing to issue an Amber Alert for a 13-year-old cheerleader who has been missing for more than a week.

Colorado City police have requested the alert three times since Hailey Dunn, a middle school student, was reported missing Dec. 28 by her mother, Billie Dunn.

The girl was thought to be spending Monday night at a nearby friend's home, but did not return home the next morning, the police said. The friend later said she was not expecting a visit from Dunn.

The cheerleader headed out around 3:15 p.m. on Dec. 27, first going to her dad's house and then supposedly to the friend's house.

Billie Dunn's boyfriend, Shawn Adkins, was the last person to see the girl, the mother told police. It was Adkins who reportedly said the girl was spending the night at a friend's home. Adkins was scheduled to take a polygraph exam Wednesday.

"We can't say one way or another if she is abducted or is a runway," city manager Peter Kampfer told ABC News. "One of the requirements that they have for an Amber Alert in the state is that there is a witness or we have some sort of evidence that she's been picked up or been threatened. That's one of the qualifiers."

Kampfer is frustrated by the state's guidelines for issuing alerts at a time when help is needed.

"I would like to see it a little bit broadened. I don't hear many Amber Alerts in this area of Texas. In fact, I can't remember the last one I've heard," he told ABC News. "You'd like to be able to think you could invoke a request and get some help."

Police chief John Bivens said the minimum standard for creating an Amber Alert is "knowledge of a suspect, a description of a vehicle involved in an abduction and/or a route and direction of travel."

Right now, the town does not have such information.

"We're having an ongoing investigation. As of today we're just following up on the initial leads and of course we have leads that are coming in from the public," Kampfer said. "We have nothing substantive at this time."

This case is currently being investigated by the local police, county sheriff and the Texas Rangers.

On Friday, bloodhounds were taken to the six motels in Colorado City. At one of them, the Western Suites, which is adjacent to Interstate 20 and near the Dunn home, the dogs picked up on the girl's scent in the parking lot. It led to a ground-floor room, but no further. A search of all 24 rooms produced no other evidence. ´╗┐

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