Child welfare agency drops cases for 29 sect kids

The Associated Press/October 16, 2008

Salt Lake City - Texas child welfare officials have dropped a cluster of cases involving 29 children from a polygamous church.

Department of Family and Protective Services spokesman Patrick Crimmins says the cases were dropped Wednesday. It's the largest number of children dropped in the a single day.

In April, Texas took custody of 440 children from the Yearning for Zion ranch. The Eldorado ranch is home to members of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.

A raid of the ranch came after an allegation of abuse involving a teenage girl.

To date, the state has ended the cases of 338 children. Cases end when officials decide the children are safe or have turned 18.

Nine FLDS men now face criminal indictments on charges related to underage marriage and bigamy.

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