Did polygamist leader Warren Jeffs tell his brother to escape?

Posted at 4:00 PM, Jun 27, 2016
and last updated 2016-06-28 10:29:31-04

SALT LAKE CITY -- In the week since Fundamentalist LDS Church bishop Lyle Jeffs escaped from home confinement, the FBI said it has received some tips on where the polygamist leader may be.

FBI spokeswoman Sandra Barker told FOX 13 on Monday that agents have received some "valuable" information about Lyle Jeffs' whereabouts.

Private investigator and author Sam Brower said Jeffs has devoted followers and resources that could keep him on the run for years.

"They have experience running from the law," he said.

Jeffs disappeared last week, removing his GPS monitoring device and escaping home confinement. He's among 11 FLDS members charged with food stamp fraud and money laundering. Federal prosecutors have alleged the scheme exceeds $12 million.

FINAL Wanted Lyle Jeffs

In a recent interview with FOX 13, one of Lyle Jeffs' sons said he believes imprisoned FLDS leader Warren Jeffs put him up to escaping.

"I believe Warren told him to run," Thomas Jeffs said. "That would be the main reason he would run."

Warren Jeffs is doing life in a Texas prison for child sex assault related to underage marriages. Jeffs' calls would be monitored, but Brower said he could slip coded messages out of prison through any of his followers who regularly visit him in prison. Brower said Lyle Jeffs will also borrow from his brother's playbook used when he was on the FBI's Ten Most Wanted list.

"Warren was very good at changing vehicles and keeping his bodyguards around," Brower told FOX 13.

FLDS leader Warren Jeffs in a 2014 deposition from the Texas prison where he is serving a life sentence.

FLDS leader Warren Jeffs in a 2014 deposition from the Texas prison where he is serving a life sentence.

The FLDS has a network of safe houses, referred to as "houses of hiding," scattered across the nation. It also has enclaves across the western United States. Brower said he did not believe Lyle Jeffs would flee to Mexico, but possibly the FLDS enclave of Bountiful, British Columbia, or smaller sites in Colorado and South Dakota.

Earlier this year, FOX 13 visited the FLDS Church's enclave in the Black Hills, which has a guard tower and fences around it. There has been some speculation it could be a future site for the polygamous sect's latest temple. The Custer County Sheriff has said he will be keeping an eye out for any sign of Jeffs.

"He's going to want to have his people around him," Brower said. "He's going to want to be someplace where he's worshiped and has the most power."

The FBI has said it considers Lyle Jeffs "armed and dangerous." Anyone with information on his whereabouts is urged to call police or the FBI at 801-579-1400.

See photos of Warren Jeffs and some of his alleged wives obtained by FOX 13 (faces blurred to protect any alleged crime victims):