Polygamous cult members rally to stop mother from rescuing her children

Members of Warren Jeffs' FLDS Church surround the van of Sabrina Broadbent Tetzner.(Photo: KLS video screenshot)

An Arizona woman faced a crowd of hundreds after returning to a fundamentalist Mormon community to retrieve her four children. 

Sabrina Broadbent Tetzner successfully escaped from leader Warren Jeffs' compound in Colorado City eight years ago, but had difficulty getting her children out. 

Tetzner had an allegedly abusive husband with whom she had four children, ages 8 to 13. She fled the community a year after Jeffs was arrested for sexually assaulting two minor females he considered his "spiritual wives."

He is serving a life sentence, but continues to run the community from prison. 

Tetzner was allowed to visit her children throughout the years, and was granted full custody last week. A Mohave County judge ordered the children be turned over by 5pm last Thursday, but they did not arrive at the compound until midnight, according to Tetzner.

The children were quickly ushered into the house of their aunt, Samantha Holm, and dozens of cult members blocked Tetzner from seeing them. 

The 32-year-old mother slept in her van, and was surprised to see several hundred church members surrounding the vehicle in the morning. 

"Lots of members from the community started showing up," said former church member Flora Jessup, who helped Tetzner get her children back.

"They surrounded her vehicle, the home, fences and the yard. They were kicking the van. They even tried to put a cow and chickens into her vehicle."

Tetzner called the police, and the children were released to their mother after a search warrant was produced. 

Reportedly, the church members followed the family as they drove to Tetzner's home in northern Utah, although the van had a police escort. Upon arriving at her home, Tetzner discovered that animal faeces had been smeared on the walls, and furniture was broken. The mother was just happy to have her children back safely. 

"We want to thank all of you for your love and support these last few days," she wrote on Facebook. "We have the children they are safe and we're heading home."

The children have a stepfather, Chase, and a younger brother from Tetzner's new marriage.