Polygamy foe worried about mom

Flora Jessop is told she is OK but doesn't want contact with her kin

Salt Lake Tribune/March 23, 2007
By Brooke Adams

Patricia Jessop is alive and well but she apparently does not want anything to do with her anti-polygamy activist daughter, Flora Jessop.

Flora Jessop and several brothers filed a missing person report last August with the Colorado City, Ariz., Town Marshal's Office, which also serves Hildale, Utah.

They claimed their 67-year-old mother hadn't been seen in more than a year.

In November, they asked the Washington County Sheriff's Office to get involved.

The twin towns are the homebase of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, led by Warren S. Jeffs. The sect leader teaches that parents need to cut off wayward children who leave the faith, as Flora Jessop and six brothers did.

Flora Jessop left Hildale in 1986 when she was 16. She was in contact with her mother until about seven years ago, but hasn't seen or talked to her since then. Her father was kicked out of the FLDS faith years ago and lives in Cane Beds, a community south of the twin towns.

On Friday, the town marshal's office contacted Washington County Deputy Darrell Cashin and told him they had located Patricia, who has 10 other children who remain FLDS members. The deputy met with Patricia and confirmed she was in "good health and of sound mind."

Washington County Lt. Jake Adams called Flora Jessop, who lives in Phoenix, to give her the news. Flora Jessop said she was told her mother doesn't want to be contacted by her or her brothers.

But they are skeptical. "Until one of us is able to see and speak with her, we still consider her missing," she said. She has been told by others that her mother is bedridden.

"My mother is one of the most loving, giving, people that I know," she said. She recalls her mother being criticized for giving water to people who were working outside and were not considered good FLDS members.

"For them to state she doesn't want to see her children is not in character with my mom," she said.

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