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Colorado woman is 'person of interest' in polygamist case

  • Story Highlights
  • NEW: Texas Rangers pursue Rozita Swinton regarding phone calls to a crisis center
  • NEW: Search of Swinton's home reveals evidence that possibly links her to the calls
  • Police arrest the woman for making a false report to police in a separate case
  • Phone calls prompted Texas raid, but officers then got a second search warrant
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(CNN) -- A Colorado woman is being pursued as a "person of interest" in connection with phone calls that triggered the raid of a Texas polygamist ranch, authorities said Friday.


Rozita Swinton, 33, has been arrested in a case that is not directly related to the Texas raid.

Texas Rangers are seeking Rozita Swinton of Colorado Springs, Colorado, "regarding telephone calls placed to a crisis center hot line in San Angelo, Texas, in late March 2008," the Rangers said in a written statement.

The raid of the YFZ (Yearning for Zion) Ranch in Eldorado, Texas, came after a caller -- who identified herself as a 16-year-old girl -- said she had been physically and sexually abused by an adult man with whom she was forced into a "spiritual marriage."

The release said a search of Swinton's home in Colorado uncovered evidence that possibly links her to phone calls made about the ranch, run by the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

"The possibility exists that Rozita Swinton, who has nothing to do with the FLDS church, may have been a woman who made calls and pretended she was the 16-year-old girl named Sarah," CNN's Gary Tuchman reported.

Swinton, 33, has been charged in Colorado with false reporting to authorities and is in police custody. Police said that arrest was not directly related to the Texas case.

Authorities raided the Texas ranch April 4 and removed 416 children.

Officials have been trying to identify the 16-year-old girl, referred to as Sarah, who claimed she had been abused in the phone calls. FLDS members have denied the girl, supposedly named Sarah Jessop Barlow, exists.

Some of the FLDS women who spoke with CNN on Monday said they believed the calls were a hoax.

While the phone calls initially prompted the raid, officers received a second search warrant based on what they said was evidence of sexual abuse found at the compound.


In court documents, investigators described seeing teen girls who appeared pregnant, records that showed men marrying multiple women and accounts of girls being married to adult men when they were as young as 13.

A court hearing began Thursday to determine custody of children who were removed from the ranch. E-mail to a friend E-mail to a friend

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