Rozita Swinton

SAN ANGELO, Texas — The Utah Attorney General's Office has been asked to investigate a phone call alleging abuse in the polygamist border town of Hildale that appears to be similar to calls that sparked the raid on the YFZ Ranch.

The Division of Child and Family Services declined to give specific details about the phone call or when it was made but confirmed it claimed child abuse and neglect. Like all calls, DCFS caseworkers investigated it.

"What we got was some information that this may or may not be related to an existing criminal matter," said Liz Sollis, a spokeswoman for the Utah Department of Human Services, which oversees DCFS.

The Utah Attorney General's Office is now in contact with other law enforcement authorities investigating similar calls made to anti-polygamy activists, Arizona child welfare workers and a Texas family crisis shelter.

"We're working with other authorities to see if it deserves further scrutiny," Utah attorney general spokesman Paul Murphy told the Deseret News Tuesday night.

A Colorado Springs woman has been declared a "person of interest" in the Texas Department of Public Safety's investigation into the calls that sparked the raid on the Fundamentalist LDS Church's community near Eldorado.

A 16-year-old girl named "Sarah" called a family crisis center hotline, claiming that she had been beaten, was pregnant and married to a 50-year-old Colorado City, Ariz., man named Dale Barlow. Authorities have been unable to find her, and questioned Barlow in St. George but did not arrest him.

Anti-polygamy activists received similar calls, and when the girl's story became suspicious, they forwarded them on to the Texas Rangers.

Last week, Colorado Springs police arrested 33-year-old Rozita Swinton on charges of making a false report stemming from an incident in February where she's accused of claiming to be a child in distress to a local shelter.

Texas Rangers were there for the arrest and have said they seized items from her apartment that indicated a possible connection between Swinton and calls regarding the FLDS compounds in Colorado City and Eldorado. The Texas Department of Public Safety has declined to comment further on the case. Swinton has a prior conviction for making a false report to police.

Rod Parker, an attorney acting as spokesman for the FLDS Church said Tuesday that "Sarah Barlow doesn't exist and Dale Barlow lives in Arizona."

He said the phone call "tainted" the search at the YFZ Ranch but was unsure what — if any — effect it would have on the proceedings in the long run. Attempts to reach Swinton for comment have been unsuccessful.


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