YFZ kids showed injuries, official says

April 30, 2008 at 1:56 PM
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AUSTIN, Texas, April 30 (UPI) -- Children found by Texas officials at the polygamist ranch in Texas suffered broken or fractured bones, a protective services official testified Wednesday.

Carey Cockerell, head of the state's Department of Family and Protective Services, told a state Senate panel medical exams revealed 41 of the 463 youngsters removed from the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints' sect ranch had previous bone injuries, the Dallas Morning News reported.

"Several of these fractures have been found in very young children" and some had more than one injury, Cockerell told the Senate Health and Human Services Committee.

It wasn't clear whether life at the Yearning for Zion ranch near Eldorado could include activities that could cause bone injuries, the report said.

Willie Jessop, a YFZ ranch spokesman, said the testimony was "propaganda to make a case that cannot be proved."

Cockerell said the department's Child Protective Services was investigating underage pregnancies when it had the children removed from the ranch. He said a 464th child was born to an underage girl Tuesday.

He also appraised the panel about difficulties state officials have in keeping track of identifying children and their parents at shelters set up in San Angelo this month.

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