Known collectively as Short Creek, the towns of Hildale and Colorado City, on the border of Utah and Arizona, respectively, have a total population of about 8,000, the majority of which are members of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. It is the largest polygamist enclave in America. For generations, the FLDS leadership has had total control over this desert outpost on the edge of the Grand Canyon, selecting the mayors, the city council and even the town marshals without issue. But in recent years, the DOJ has been investigating allegations that the two towns have been violating residents' civil rights, allowing the church to use public officials to run members who left the faith — "apostates" in FLDS parlance — out of town, denying utility hookups and even spying on citizens.
The sun sets on Hildale and Colorado City, on the border of Utah and Arizona respectively, where FLDS has created a closed community.
FLDS constructed high walls around the city to keep the community as closed as possible.
FLDS boys on horses tend to their sheep and yell, "Get outta here!"
Children climb a fence at what was once a thriving community zoo in Hildale, Utah.
A grave marker reads "baby girl" in a cemetery for children in the polygamous FLDS community of Hildale, Utah.
FLDS members at a bonfire in Colorado City, Arizona.
A girl in the window of her home in Colorado City, Arizona.
Allie Steed does her hair while her friend Helen Holm watches. Both women recently left the FLDS church.
Allie Steed, Helen Holm and Heidi Holm in Colorado City, Arizona, in 2012. The three young women recently left the FLDS church.
A Zion sign that notes a place of the "pure in the heart" hangs over a door in Colorado City, Arizona.
A sign in the Hildale Justice Court reads, "No one has a finer command of language than the person who keeps his mouth shut."
Surveillance cameras mounted on what appear to be public utility poles in Hildale, Utah.
Children take in the scene of a Hildale wash after a flash flood killed 13 people.
Women and children gather near the Short Creek Wash in Colorado City, Arizona, as the Utah National Guard and law enforcement search for the last known victims of the flash flood.
Women arrive at a memorial in Hildale, Utah for the 13 victims of the flash flood.