AMARILLO, Texas — Texas authorities have canceled the arrest warrant for the Arizona man who had been suspected of physically and sexually abusing a teenage girl — allegations that launched last month’s raid on an FLDS ranch in Eldorado.
The man named in the warrant, Dale E. Barlow, was never arrested and denied knowing the girl.
Law enforcement did not find the teenage girl or Barlow at the YFZ Ranch, owned by the polygamous Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Officials have not located or idenified her.
A spokesman for the Texas Department of Safety said he could not elaborate on why the warrant was canceled.
“The bottom line is the warrant is no longer active,” said Tom Vinger.
Vinger said he did not know when the cancellation occurred. He would not comment on whether the cancellation confirms the girl’s calls for help were a hoax.
“We’re still investigating that,” he said.
The warrant had alleged a 16-year-old girl called a San Angelo family violence shelter to report she was married to Barlow, 50, and he was abusing her. The allegations were the basis for a search and arrest warrant executed April 3 on the FLDS ranch.
Two weeks later, Texas authorities announced they were investigating a Colorado Springs, Colo., woman suspected of making the phone calls claiming abuse. The woman has no known connection to the FLDS and a history of making phone calls falsely claiming abuse.
But once on the ranch, authorities said, child welfare workers found children who were abused or at risk for abuse, and more than 460 children were taken into custody. They are now in state facilities throughout Texas.
Rod Parker, a Salt Lake City attorney representing the FLDS, said, “The cancellation of this warrant is just one more piece of evidence that this call was a hoax and the state of Texas did not properly check this out before they raided the ranch.”
Parker acknowledged the cancellation of the warrant would have little legal significance to the childrens’ pending custody cases.
Barlow had denied knowing the girl or having visited Texas in 30 years. He continued living at his home in Colorado City, Ariz. Texas Rangers traveled to St. George to interview Barlow but did not arrest him.