Link: 9 News
COLORADO SPRINGS – The Texas Department of Public Safety expects to have new information Friday afternoon on a woman arrested in Colorado Springs who may have a connection with a raid on a religious compound in western Texas.
According to a release from the city of Colorado Springs, police arrested 33-year-old Rozita Swinton at her home on Wednesday on a charge of false reporting to authorities, a misdemeanor. The incident she was arrested for happened in February. Swinton was taken to the El Paso County Criminal Justice Center.
According to a news release from Colorado Springs, the Texas Rangers were in Colorado Springs as part of their investigation involving the compound in Texas.
Texas Rangers have not confirmed that they are investigating Swinton.
“We’re not confirming that the local arrest is related to the Ranger’s investigation of the FLDS property,” said Lisa Block, Texas Ranger’s spokeswoman. FLDS is an acronym for The Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.
Texas Department of Family and Protective Services spokeswoman Shari Pulliam told 9Wants to Know Friday that she believes the girl claiming to be an abused 16 year old is among the more than 400 children removed from the FLDS property.
“We feel like she probably is here and that during the course of the investigation we will be able to locate her,” said Pulliam.
Pulliam said that her office was not able to trace the number of the person calling with allegations of abuse because the calls were made to a domestic violence shelter.
The Colorado Springs Police Department says it cannot discuss the Texas case.
Texas authorities needed a criminal complaint before they could get a warrant to search the compound. They got it when they claimed a 16-year-old girl named Sarah called them for help, saying she was inside the ranch, pregnant and scared of her abusive 50-year-old husband.
One former FLDS member, Flora Jessop, of Phoenix, who has been an outspoken critic of polygamist practices, says she thinks she may have talked to Swinton on the phone, with Swinton claiming to be Sarah’s twin sister. Jessop claims to have hours of tapes of the conversations with Swinton and says they began before the raid on March 30.
Jessop said the caller also talked about alleged abuse at property owned by FLDS members in Colorado City, Arizona. Colorado City is home to a large number of FLDS members.
Jessop says the woman she believes is Rozita Swinton called again Thursday morning after Swinton bailed out of the El Paso County Jail.
“I did get her to admit to me her name was Rose,” Jessop said.
The affidavit for the case in Colorado Springs has been sealed, but Jessop says police arrested Swinton for making false calls somewhere in Colorado, claiming to be an abused child.
9NEWS has learned that Swinton was arrested in Castle Rock two years ago for making a false report.