Public information officer Detective Nate Abbott of the Washington County Sheriff's Office said in news release Tuesday that on October 10, 2011, Washington County Sheriff's deputies responded to keep the peace in Hildale, Utah when a 25-year old female reportedly left her residence in Colorado City, Arizona and arrived at another residence in Hildale, Utah where she asked for assistance in leaving the community which deputies facilitated without incident. Law enforcement, as a matter of policy, do not identify women involved in suspected abuse cases.
ABC4 said the incident triggered a manhunt followed by a standoff. Local town marshals and FLDS security surrounded the property of Willie Jessop in Hildale where the woman had sought refuge. Jessop is a former FLDS spokesman who was expelled by Warren Jeffs from the FLDS religious group.
Abbott told KCSG news that there was no standoff and that the relationship between local law enforcement agencies within the polygamist communities and the Washington County Sheriffs Office is good. There are no issues between local town law enforcement officials and the sheriff's office contrary to some media reports, he said.
Allegations of the 25-year-old woman being held against her will are under investigation by Washington County Attorney Brock Belnap.
Jeffs was recently convicted earlier this year in Texas of child sex assault and is serving a life sentence.