Polygamist families separated

April 16, 2008 5:22:42 AM PDT
As of Tuesday, 139 mothers are back at the FLDS compound in El Dorado, but they went home without their kids.Hundreds of FLDS children are now in three shelters across the state. Two of them are in San Angelo where CPS says the kids are being fed, medically evaluated and playing.

In fact this afternoon, CPS says the boys were playing kickball against DPS troopers. The mothers of these kids say that happy picture is not the truth. One called the shelter a concentration camp.

"They just took my seven year old girl and they lied to us," said "Marilyn" who is an FLDS Sect Member. "CPS lied to us."

Sect members say they didn't realize the kids were being taken. CPS made the decision Monday night to separate the 416 children in state custody from their mothers. Court hearings start Thursday which could keep the kids from ever seeing their biological parents again.

"Don't mess with the children of Texas," said State Rep. Drew Darby (R) San Angelo. "That's what this is about, protecting our children."

Some of the polygamist children may be moved to a kid's camp in Porter. Along with hearing from sect members for the first time - we're getting close up views of the compound too.

We've seen aerials before, but Tuesday SkyEye was overheard for a much clearer view of the 1,700 acre compound with an impressive guard tower in front.

The four story, 18,000 square foot, $8 million temple shines in the West Texas sun. Crime tape is still across the front steps.

Investigators said last week there is a bed inside that was used for adult men to have sex with their underage brides.

Elsewhere, there is construction equipment, farm equipment a concrete plant and acres & acres of fields. Sect men could be seen working in the fields today.

The three story log cabin homes where court documents suggest children were hidden last week are largely empty today. The only movement was a single pickup pulling up.

No matter how secretive or opulent this ranch may seem from the air, on the ground, the question of a widespread pattern of abuse remains unanswered.

What you can't tell from the air is who is there and who isn't. This church has at least two similar compounds in other states. It's been six days since DPS left. There are no criminal charges against anyone. With hundreds of allegedly abused kids in state custody, their potential abusers could be anywhere.

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