Update (February 9, 2009 / 2:35pm PST): A note from Esther
25-year-old Aquinnah O’Keefe (aka Esther) returned to the Lord Our Righeousness Church compound known as “Strong City” on Saturday afternoon. According to strongcity.info, O’Keefe returned to “the land” in remote northeastern New Mexico around 2:30pm local time.
A photo posted on the church’s Web site shows O’Keefe with her half-sister, Lorraine Irwin. The Web site reports that Irwin returned O’Keefe to the compound.
Last month, Irwin appeared on the Dr. Phil television program. The episode was titled, “Family Cult, part 2″.
Armed with a court order, authorities removed O’Keefe from the LOR property on January 28th. The young woman had reportedly been fasting since LOR leader Wayne Bent was sent to prison on December 30, 2008.
On January 29th, strongcity.info posted video of law enforcement and aid workers removing O’Keefe.
On February 1, KOB-TV aired an exclusive interview with O’Keefe. She told investigative reporter Jeremy Jojola that she was fasting because God had instructed her to do so. She also said that she was “willing to die on what I stand on.”
In December, a Taos jury convicted Bent on one count of second-degree criminal sexual contact with a minor and two counts of contributing to the delinquency of a minor.