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Warren Jeffs' Son, Who Said Dad Abused Him, Dead at 26

Roy Jeffs is said to have taken his own life
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 4, 2019 9:25 AM CDT
Roy Jeffs, son of polygamist leader Warren Jeffs, speaks during an interview on Oct. 2, 2015, in Salt Lake City.   (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

(Newser) – A son of Warren Jeffs who was one of the first to say the polygamist had sexually abused his own children has died. The Salt Lake City Tribune reports that Roy Jeffs, 26, was found dead at his Salt Lake City home on Friday. He would have turned 27 on Wednesday, People notes. Half-sister Rachel Jeffs tells the Tribune that Roy Jeffs took his own life, and she points the finger at their father for her brother's death. "Father didn't love him. [Roy] knew it," she says. "All of us knew it. We all got told Roy was a bad boy." In 2014, Roy Jeffs left the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints—an offshoot of the LDS church—that his father ran. In 2015, he and another sister, Becky Jeffs, both revealed they'd been sexually abused by Warren Jeffs, per CNN.

"One of my earliest memories is of him sexually abusing me," Roy Jeffs told CNN then. "I was about 4 or 5 years old, and ... I remember him telling me, 'You should never do this' … then he did it to me." Rachel Jeffs also eventually came forward and said their father had molested her as well. People notes Roy Jeffs' claims that he was made to do hard labor by his father on "compounds"; the Tribune reports he was separated from his mother at age 14 for admitting he was sexually attracted to some of his father's child brides. "[Warren Jeffs] did not allow Roy to grow up with his siblings, and he kept him hidden in houses of hiding most of his growing up life … [trying] to turn us against him," Rachel Jeffs said in a post cited by ABC4 News, adding that she was proud of her brother for being brave enough to leave the "cult." Warren Jeffs is currently serving a life sentence for child sexual assault. (Warren Jeffs' brother has his own legal issues.)

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