FLDS Teen Gives Birth; Doctors Finding Evidence Of Injuries To Kids - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

04/30/08 - Tyler

FLDS Teen Gives Birth; Doctors Finding Evidence Of Injuries To Kids

The attorney for a polygamous religious sect says a mother who gave birth yesterday is 18. But Texas child welfare officials aren't buying that.

They say the mother, who gave birth to a son, is younger than 18. A spokesman for Texas Child Protective Services says mother and son are doing well. He says both will remain together at a Central Texas foster-care facility until a formal custody hearing June 5th.

The mother is on a list of 463 minors the state took into custody when state officials raided the West Texas ranch of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.

On Monday, CPS disclosed that almost 60 percent of the underage girls living on the renegade Mormon sect's Eldorado ranch either have children or are pregnant. CPS says that of the 53 girls between the ages of 14 and 17 in state custody, 31 either have given birth or were expecting.

It was also announced today that the chief of state protective services is telling legislators that investigators have uncovered a history of physical injuries, including broken bones, in children taken from a polygamst sect.

Commissioner Carey Cockerell, who oversees the state agency now caring for the children, said medical examinations have revealed numerous physical injuries, including broken bones in "very young children."

Cockerell also told a state legislative committee that mothers who stayed with their children in state custody launched a coordinated effort to stymie investigators, coaching their children to not answer questions.

State authorities raided a ranch owned by the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints on April 3. More than 450 children are in state foster facilities from the raid.

Information courtesy of the Associated Press. Cathryn Khalil, reporting. ckhalil@kltv.com

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