Authorities Prepare for "Worst" at Eldorado Polygamist Compound - KWES NewsWest 9 / Midland, Odessa, Big Spring, TX: newswest9.com |

Authorities Prepare for "Worst" at Eldorado Polygamist Compound

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ELDORADO, Texas (AP) - Sect leaders at a polygamist compound in West Texas refused today to let authorities search a temple for a teenage girl whose report of abuse led to the raid.

Authorities also said they were preparing "for the worst."

If no agreement is reached with sect leaders, authorities will forcibly remove the sect's followers "as peaceably as possible." That's according to Allison Palmer, a prosecutor in Tom Green County who spoke to the San Angelo Standard-Times.

A search warrant authorized troopers to enter the retreat, run by the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. They are looking for evidence of a marriage between the girl and a 50-year-old man.

Court documents the girl had a baby eight months ago, when she was 15.

State welfare officials on Friday removed 52 girls from the compound. Marleigh Meisner, a spokeswoman for Child Protective Services, said another 131 residents were removed overnight. By this afternoon, 137 children and 46 women were being housed and interviewed at local community centers.

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