14 Mar 2009

17-year-old dropped from FLDS investigation

Go San Angelo - San Angelo Standard-Times
Texas March 13, 2009

By Paul A. Anthony

And then there was one.

The state's Child Protective Services agency has dropped a 17-year-old mother from its investigation of alleged abuse at the YFZ Ranch, leaving just one child of the 439 initially removed from the polygamous Schleicher County compound.

The nonsuit, filed Thursday, removes from the case a girl who has vexed state and court officials with her refusals to produce her 8-month-old baby, which CPS had sought for genetic testing. The Salt Lake Tribune reported CPS opened a new case in San Antonio, where the girl lives, seeking access to the baby to monitor the girl's parenting skills.

The girl gave birth in June, just days after the return of hundreds of children from the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. CPS has alleged she was married to an adult man at age 14.

The only child remaining in the case is a 14-year-old girl that sect documents and pictures show having been married to sect leader Warren Jeffs at age 12.

CPS on Thursday filed a request that the girl, who has struggled to adapt to outside life with two foster families since 51st District Judge Barbara Walther gave the agency custody of the girl last summer, be placed with a distant relative, Bandera resident Naomi Carlisle.

Carlisle, 52, is an FLDS member but has never been a resident of the YFZ Ranch, and five of her 11 surviving children have left the sect upon adulthood, according to investigation documents filed Thursday with the agency's request.

No hearing date on the placement has been set, court administrators said today.

Carlisle provided temporary shelter for her brother's children after their removal from the ranch in April until Texas courts ordered their return in June, the documents state.

"Ms. Carlisle has many strengths that make her an appropriate placement" for the girl, wrote Amanda Way, child placing manager for Adoption Priorities Inc., which conducted the background check on Carlisle. "She is of the same cultural and religious background as (the girl) and will be able to foster those needs. However, she is just far enough removed from the controversy of the FLDS case and the various participants in the case that she seems to be a safe placement option."

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