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Warrant dropped in FLDS raid

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An arrest warrant has apparently been dropped for the man fingered as an abusive husband in a phone call that triggered the raid on the Fundamentalist LDS Church's YFZ Ranch.

"The warrant is no longer active," Tom Vinger with the Texas Department of Public Safety said Friday.

The warrant, for 50-year-old Dale Barlow of Colorado City, Ariz., accused him of being married to a 16-year-old "Sarah," whose phone call triggered the raid that resulted in more than 450 children being taken from the YFZ Ranch and placed in foster care.

Authorities said a phone call from someone claiming to be a girl named "Sarah," who was pregnant and in an abusive marriage.

"I do not know this girl that they keep asking about," Barlow told the Deseret News last month. "And I have not been to Texas since I was a young man back in 1977."

Texas Rangers traveled to St. George to question him, and ultimately did not arrest him.

Vinger said investigators are continuing to scrutinize the phone call and have named a Colorado woman as a "person of interest." Rozita Swinton, 33, is facing charges accusing her of making a phony abuse call to Colorado Springs police. Texas Rangers were there when she was arrested last month and seized evidence from her apartment they acknowledged were related to calls regarding the FLDS compounds in Eldorado, Texas and Colorado City.

"That investigation is ongoing. We still have quite a bit of evidence to process," Vinger said Friday. "At this point she has not been charged."

Authorities have said they are investigating if Swinton made similar hoax calls purporting to be "Sarah" or "Laurie" to Utah and Arizona child welfare workers.

Attorneys representing the children have said that even if the original call that prompted the raid is a hoax, it doesn't affect their case. It is what child protective services workers found when they responded to the ranch that is at issue. The Texas Department of Family and Protective Services said its workers found evidence of abuse involving teenage mothers at the YFZ Ranch.

E-mail: bwinslow@desnews.com