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Caroline's escape from polygamy.
No help from Utah Sheriff.


Caroline Cooke

15 year old Caroline Cooke ran away from her polygamous home in April, 2001. Her father had once fled Utah because he was under investigation for incest stemming from his marriage to his stepdaughter. When another step-daughter was 15 she asked to be married to anyone in the Canadian polygamous colony to avoid marriage to her step father. Now 15 year old Caroline was faced with the prospect of being married to 45 year old Warren Jeffs, son of, and heir apparent to, FLDS prophet Rulon Jeffs. Caroline decided to run away instead.

She received help from child welfare activists Jay Beswick and Les Zitting. While she was staying with Les’s family, Les received an anonymous death threat. When he called the police about the death threat, Washington County Utah sheriff Kirk Smith took control of Caroline’s case.

The activists were able to get an uncle of Caroline’s, who is not a polygamist, to file for a power of attorney and take custody of Caroline. She is living with the uncle’s family now and is attending school. Caroline's prospects for achieving a normal life are bright.