Polygamous Prophet Sighting

Fugitive FLDS leader allegedly spotted at a Utah Cabela's

Utah FBI agents are investigating whether the "prophet" Warren Jeffs, fugitive leader of a polygamist breakaway Mormon sect known as the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, was shopping at a Lehi, Utah, Cabela's outdoor store on Oct. 21. According to Utah's KSL radio, a cashier thinks she spotted Jeffs among a group shopping at the store on Friday afternoon around 3:30pm. Agents have reviewed the store's surveillance tapes, but haven't said whether the cameras caught the lanky prophet shopping at the store. "The tape has been reviewed, and based on the review, we're going to be conducting some other types of investigations," Special Agent Brent Robbins said.

Jeffs is wanted in Arizona on two state felony counts related to his arranging a marriage between an underage girl and an older, married man, and is being sought by federal authorities for fleeing to avoid prosecution. In August, Jeffs earned a spot on one of the FBI's most wanted lists, and the state of Arizona is offering a $10,000 reward for info leading to his arrest. The Cabela's shopping trip is the second alleged Jeffs sighting since the reward was posted. A previous tip placed him in Florida shopping for real estate near Orlando.

Jeffs and his clan, who have called the twin towns of Hilldale, Utah, and Colorado City, Ariz., home for nearly 80 years, have built a gated compound in Eldorado, Texas, just south of San Angelo. Jeffs was last seen there in January 2004, when author Jon Krakauer snapped a picture of Jeffs consecrating the area where the sect's massive, first-ever temple now stands. (For more on this, see "Meet the New Neighbors," July 29.)

Got something to say? The Chronicle welcomes opinion pieces on any topic from the community. Submit yours now at austinchronicle.com/opinion.

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for over 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

Eric Goodman's Austin FC column, other soccer news

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle