Ruby Jessop, an FLDS bride escaped the polygamist Mormon sect still ruled by jailed Warren Jeffs. Reportedly, the Colorado City woman, 26, who was forced into an arranged marriage 12 years ago by Jeffs and other leaders of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Now the struggle is to free thousands of other child brides held against their will.
In a Jan. 23, ABC News report, sources said Jessop fled the tight-knit and secretive sect in Arizona in the past two weeks and reunited with her family, who've never given up hope.
Flanked by the Arizona Attorney General, her six children, ages two to ten, it was obvious Jessop was relieved to be free again and among those who love her. The former child bride escaped with the help of her sister and deputies under a special grant or subsidy.
While officials are tight-lipped about how the escape took place, roughly $420,000 was used to fund the operation. However, unless more funds are received, money will soon run out to assist other FLDS child brides to escape.
The FLDS is a renegade or splintered group of the LDS located along the Utah-Arizona border. Officials on the outside have fought years to penetrate the secrecy, to no avail.
Ruby's sister, Flora Jessop said this about her siblings escape:
"Twelve years ago, I got a call from my sister who has 14 years old and had been placed in an arranged marriage. She had managed to get away and I gave her a promise that I would do everything I could to keep her safe. Then, before I could get to her and get her help, she disappeared and was taken back into the group."
Incidentally, Flora is a FLDS child bride who escaped the polygamist stronghold under Jeffs 20 years ago.
"Ruby is one of thousands that have been trapped and abused and held under the regime of Warren Jeffs and she is just so happy to be out and her children are excited and able to go to a school for the first time. To watch them play with toys and learn to become children has just been amazing," Flora added.
As the ABC's Amy Robach said, "A lot of people acturally call the FLDS the American Taliban because these women and these children are being held in these homes."
In fact, Ruby Jessop not only was forced to marry her step-brother; she allegedly was compelled to have sexual relations with other men.
Investigative journalists learned that the polygamist sect that is accused of forcing women to wed against their will is fiercely protective and loyall to Warren Jeffs.
While the polygamist leader is incarcerated, he still has control over the group, who believe he will be set free one day and outsiders will be punished for intruding.
The ex-FLDS child bride escapes and carries a warm smile on her face, one that signals a second chance to raise her family the way she sees fit. Perhaps, her successful rescue will lead to others finding freedom from living in silence.