Updating on the child custody issue for the FLDS children, the Senate leader's request is just the latest in reports coming out today. Others include the DNA samples already collected from all the children and some adults, being sent to the lab, more children being moved to their temporary homes, lawyers complaining and news that the FLDS men might be running to avoid charges.
A new element in a case that has been constantly changing and moving forward, is reported today. Senate Leader, Harry Reid, is requesting the Justice Department review federal efforts to combat child abuse and criminal activity in polygamous communities.
Three weeks after the removal of 437 children from the Yearning for Zion (YFZ) Ranch, which is a Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (FLDS) compound, for allegations of abuse after Child Protective Services said they witnessed evidence of abuse, the state has finished taking the children's DNA samples and some of the parents, and have sent it to Alamance County, where LabCorp will be doing the testing for Texas state to determine family lines for the children.
Texas State District Judge Barbara Walther ordered the DNA tests last week after a two day hearing in which she determined that the children would stay in state custody pending further investigation.
Yesterday over 100 children were moved to their temporary foster facilities, teenage mothers being kept with their babies and large groups of children being placed into facilities together, because the state felt it best to keep as many siblings together as possible. CPS has been having a difficult time determining what children are siblings because the children have given different names are not always sure what family they belong to and some could not identify their biological parents, hence the DNA testing.
Today more children were taken to 16 different facilities across Texas, where they will stay until their DNA results are in as well as the parents, at which time they will travel back to the court to determine if they will be placed back at their homes or if Texas state will retain custody.
The children's parents are again returning to the Schleicher County Memorial Building today to undergo a cheek swab, be photographed and assigned a number. Not many showed up on Tuesday. Texas attorney general's spokeswoman Janece Rolfe said those who do not show could face fines or jail time.
"The court order is clear that being found in contempt of court could be a consequence," she said.
Rolfe also says that by not cooperating, "They jeopardize their ability to have their children returned."
Lawyers are also in court today in front of Judge Walther, complaining about the children being moved to their foster homes and want to tour the facilities.
Other news coming out today is something that was mentioned on Nancy Grace last night and which the New Yorks Times is alleging today.
Not only are some of the parents that were ordered to provide the DNA samples to be matched with what child is theirs, are not showing up to provide those samples, but some of the fathers are being reported as allegedly leaving town to avoid criminal charges that may be filed on them should they be determined to have impregnated the children from the ranch.
An estimated 175 adults in the group are also supposed to participate in the genetic testing, although some of the men were said to have left the state to avoid possible criminal charges.
With that said, there are a number of mothers that are showing up and providing the DNA samples.
In the meantime, Senate Leader Harry Reid, sent a letter to the Attorney General, Michael B. Mukasey, expressing his concern about the "pervasive criminal activity" by polygamist groups in the southwestern United States, as underscored by the raid on the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints compound in Texas.
Reid previously wrote to then-Attorney General Alberto Gonzales in September 2006 saying the federal government should work with state officials to address the "broader pattern of serious criminal conduct by all those who use multiple marriages to abuse women and children."
Reid goes further when he states, "The recent raid of one polygamist compound in Texas uncovered many of these problems. But Texas may just be the tip of the iceberg."
From the raid on the FLDS compound, to the removal of the children and the subsequent court hearings, judges orders, DNA tests and relocating the children to their foster homes, all of this has been handled by the state and some may feel that each state should take care of the problem themselves.
Reid does continue on to make another point:
"The problem remains acute," Reid, a Nevada Democrat, wrote, noting that some polygamists have isolated themselves by setting up tightly controlled towns, with officials discouraging victims of polygamy from seeking help.
Reid continues with, "In the fact of such corruption, state and local law enforcement is often inadequate. Federal assistance is vital."
Accommodations and Education For The FLDS Children- Women and Children Being Moved
More FLDS Children In Texas State Care Than Thought, Some Canadian Children
As DNA Testing Begins For FLDS Members, Questions of Lineage, Disease, and Law Arise
Polygamist Group, FLDS Children To Be Placed In Foster Homes This Week
Judge Orders Polygamist, FLDS Children To Stay in Texas State Custody
Update On The FLDS Custody Hearing Regarding the Children of the YFZ Ranch- Day Two Begins--All Day Updates
Custody Hearing for the Children of the Polygamist FLDS Sect Starts
The Forgotten Children of the FLDS Polygamist Group, The Lost Boys
The Children From the Polygamist YFZ Ranch
Update on Polygamist Compound Raid-Documents Unsealed And Beds In The Temple
Documents Detail Abuse at YFZ Ranch
Now 400 Children In Custody from Polygamist Compound- Updated, Second Person Arrested
Standoff at Polygamist Compound-Updated
Children Removed from Warren Jeff's Polygamist Retreat in Texas
Polygamist Sect Leader Warren Jeffs Found Guilty In Utah