Members of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints file out of the Tom Green County Courthouse following the custody hearing in San Angelo, Texas on Friday, April 18, 2008. Presiding judge Barbara Walther ruled that all children remain in the custody of the state. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)
San Angelo, Texas (AP) Lab workers are preparing to take DNA samples from the more than 400 children in state custody since a raid on a polygamist compound more than two weeks ago.
Officials hope the samples, to be taken from the children and their parents, will help sort out the confusing family relationships in a convoluted custody case that has strained the resources of the child welfare system and the courts.
Judge Barbara Walther ordered the tests at the request of state officials, who have complained that members of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints have continually changed their names, possibly lied about their ages and sometimes had difficulty naming their relatives.
Three male members of the sect said in an interview aired on CBS's “Early Show” Monday that they would cooperate in DNA testing if it would help them get the children back.