Escaping from AZ polygamist town; woman gets her children back

The Polygamist town of Colorado City, once ran by sect-leader Warren Jeffs, is once again at the center of controversy.

A woman who was able to leave the Fundamentalist Church of Latter Day Saints, was finally able to get her children back, but not without a fight.

Sheriff's deputies say members of the FLDS community in violation of court orders, physically blocked her from getting her children last week.

It took law enforcement to get the children ages 8-13-years-old out of the community, and back into the arms of their mother.

She left the church 8 years ago, but only last week was she awarded full custody of her children by the courts. 

Cell phone video shows the FLDS members from Colorado City coming out in droves as Sabrina Tetzner took her four children from the community.

The executive director of Defenders of Children, an advocacy group that helped Tetzner says it was "insanely crazy." She was in contact with Tetzner the entire time.

"She always wanted to go back to get her kids, but she had no hope that it was even possible because they don't let kids go from Colorado City," said Kimberly Ririe.

A judge ordered the polygamist FLD sect to turn the children over by 5 p.m. Thursday, but that did not happen.

Deputies say hundreds of FLDS members gathered to try and keep Tetzner from getting her children.

"They filled the home, they filled the yard, they filled the fences, and they surrounded the vehicle," she said.

Deputies were forced to get a search warrant. The children were reluctantly reunited with their mother. They were told she would take them to hell with her. 

Deputies escorted the family back to their home, which Ririe says was vandalized.

"That's normal, that's what we were raised with, we were taught that was the norm," said Flora Jessop.

Jessop left Colorado City in 1986. She now fights for women and children, including her sister who had a similar experience when she left the community.

"Keep in mind the people left up there right now are the most radical and rabid followers of Warren Jeffs, and things are going to keep getting more dangerous for the women and children inside," she said.

Jessop says Warren Jeffs still runs the church from prison.

"It's going to be tough; we've got to get these kids help, to transition. It's not going to be easy on the children, and it's not going to be easy on mom," said Jessop.

The Sheriff's Office says custodial interference charges are pending against the children's aunt who initially wouldn't give them up despite the court order.

The group Defenders of Children, say they are concerned for the safety of Sabrina and her family.

They're raising money for a security system and clothes for the children.

If you would like to donate visit: https://www.defendersofchildren.org/
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