The son of cult leader Warren Jeffs has passed away, reported PEOPLE. Roy Jeffs publicly accused his father of sexual abuse and spoke out about his cult—the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints—sadly committed suicide.
Leroy “Roy” Jeffs was found dead on Friday in Salt Lake City, Utah, The Salt Lake Tribune reports. He was 26. He died only a few days before his 27th birthday on June 5.
Roy’s half-sister Rachel Jeffs confirmed his death. She confirmed that he had committed suicide. Rachel blamed the death on their polygamist father, who was sentenced to life in prison after being convicted of two counts of child sexual abuse.
“Father didn’t love him. [Roy] knew it,” Rachel told The Salt Lake Tribune. “All of us knew it. We all got told Roy was a bad boy.”
She continued, “He 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, telling the family that Roy was a bad boy and tried to turn us against him."
In 2014, Roy left the Fundamentalist LDS to accuse his father of molesting him as a child. Warren had already begun serving his life sentence at the time of the interview after being convicted in Texas of sexually assaulting two teen girls he married.
“One of my earliest memories is of him sexually abusing me,” Roy told CNN at the time. “I was about 4 or 5 years old, and this is where my dad did it. I remember him telling me, ‘You should never do this’ … then he did it to me.”
Rachel said of her brother that she was proud of him. She also had spoken out about their father's abuse.
“I’m proud of Roy for the courage he’s shown in being the first of my siblings to leave the FLDS cult and trying to figure out life the best he could,” Rachel added.
In an interview with the Associated Press after he left the cult, Roy revealed how the situation had impacted him. However, he was hopeful about a good future.
“If I think about [it] too hard, think about everything that has happened, it just breaks me down real bad,” Roy told AP. “I feel like I can do what I want. It’s my life now.”
If you or someone you know is considering suicide, please contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255), text “home” to the Crisis Text Line at 741-741 or go to suicidepreventionlifeline.org.
Please join us in praying for Roy's family during this hard time. May they find healing after all they endured at the hands of their father.