Polygamists: Most Talked About Secret in Mesquite

KLAS TV, Las Vegas/May 22, 2006

The FBI is on the hunt for a polygamist leader. Warren Jeffs is accused of sexually assaulting young women. Jeffs has followers around the west including some who have moved into Southern Nevada.

Just who the polygamists are in Mesquite is the most talked about secret in town. Residents Eyewitness News talked with say polygamists started showing up as construction in the area started to take off.

As Mesquite rapidly grows, all types of people are moving in. One group has the entire community talking.

Cassie Workman grew up in Mesquite. She is now married with two children. Workman says polygamists started to show up about a year ago. "How can you tell who is who? The way they dress -- the long dresses, the long sleeves, hair in the buns."

Workman says it is interesting to see the wives around town. For others it has become an attraction.

Lois Clayton said, "Company would come to town and one of the sight-seeing is let's pick out the polygamist."

Mesquite Police Chief Doug Law knows they are here, too. He says members own a specialized construction company. "Hard working people keep to themselves, do their job. No reports of problems with them."

But he has heard their leader Warren Jeffs may have come to town.

The FBI placed Jeffs on the Most Wanted List for sexual assaults on minors. Law's department would investigate if they received concrete evidence.

Police Chief Law said, "We have not gone out and actually looked because we didn't hear where he might be. We didn't have any place to go to look."

It is the other residents in the community doing the looking for now. Everyone Eyewitness News talked with has a story about seeing polygamists in town. Most people just accept it as a religion; a few are very upset.

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