Crawford Residents Worried Ranch Could Be Home to Polygamist Group

By: Tim Ciesco Email
By: Tim Ciesco Email

On Monday, agents raided what they believe to be a polygamist compound in Texas, taking hundreds of women and children into protective custody. Less than after that, residents in the small town of Crawford, Colorado say they think a similar compound might have sprung up in their community.

Neighbors say at this point they have no real proof that any illegal activity is taking place, but that they've noticed several things about the ranch that they're calling suspicious.

They say a privacy fence has been built around the complex, even though the area is for the most part secluded. They also say a new facility is being built on the property, and that they've noticed an increase of people in the area in the past weeks.

"It has been a growing concern to various people throughout the community about what's going on out there," said a neighbor of the ranch, who asked 11 News not to release his name. "Nobody knows and nobody has been able to find out."

That's what residents of Crawford are saying about the ranch near the intersection of 3350 Road and B25 Road. It's a place that many of them believe might be home to a polygamist religious group.

One neighbor says he's tried to contact the people who live at the ranch to see if they could shed any light on a growing community concern.

"I ran into somebody at the gate," said the neighbor. "They were very polite. I asked them if there was anybody I could speak with. They said no and they asked that I leave the property."

Other than that brief encounter, the neighbor says the group has made no contact with community members, that the front gate is bolted shut, and that people are rarely seen outside of the privacy fence.

The Delta County Sheriff says he's received calls from several of the neighbors, and can understand why they're concerned.

"Since the Texas incident, people are just alerted and they're paying attention," said Sheriff Fred McKee.

But he says for the time being, there's nothing he can do.

"We have no information or no complaints advising us of any criminal activity at that residence whatsoever," said Sheriff McKee.

Residents say they understand why the Sheriff's Office can't move forward on an investigation, but that they'll continue to be on the lookout for any sign that will prove or disprove their suspicions.

"This is a wonderful community," said the neighbor. "It's a good group of people out here and we just want to keep it that way."

According to records from the Delta County Assessor's Office, the owner of the property is man named Neph Barlow. 11 News tried to get in contact with him, but there was no phone listing for that name, and Delta County records say his mailing address is a P.O. Box in Nevada.

The Delta County Sheriff's Office says Barlow and the ranch are not under any type of investigation. Officials do say, however, they plan on visiting the property sometime this week, just to make contact with the group.

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  • by Ed Location: Montrose,Co on Apr 15, 2008 at 01:54 PM
    It amazes me how people can and do, justify any atrocity on the basis of personal freedoms. No one will ever convince me that freedom of religion or expression allows any individual to sexually tramatize or abuse another human being. I challenge anyone to show me (in the bible) where God condones such behaviour. Think of all of the despicable acts that have been committed over the years in the name of God, Enough is enough. Most people who have nothing to hide have no objection to serious and legitimate scrutiny. The criminals and wrong doers are usually the first to scream discrimination, in an effort to hide their perverted and despicable acts. I say "Investigate the Crawford ranch" if they have nothing to hide, so much the better. Remember FREEDOM is a responsibility, not an absolute right to do whatever in the hell you please.
  • by someone in Crawford Location: Crawford.CO on Apr 14, 2008 at 10:34 AM
    this is just normal a day in Crawford the people here have nothing to do so they start sticking there nose in to other peoples business and making something out of nothing these people have the right build a privacy fence around there land if I had the money or time to do that I would if you have never been to Crawford you wouldn't know what the people are like. "It's a good group of people out here and we just want to keep it that way!!" people that live on fruit land mesa are not residents of Crawford but of delta county if you don't live in Crawford then your not a resident of Crawford and can not vote for anything having to do with the town so please "Tim Ciesco" don't confuse Crawford township with fruit land mesa residents and to the people that live on fruit land leave the police work to the police and stop watching so much C.S.I and mind your own business some who knows most everything in Crawford from C.C. Writer
  • by Sarah Location: Kansas City Mo. on Apr 14, 2008 at 05:13 AM
    What is the matter with Americans these days, Some good words is nosey and copycats, hateful. The mess in Texas is smacks Nazi law and government at work. You do not raid a whole community or town and take all of their children because of what one person may have done. Since when is a phone call by an unseen face grounds to do anything? The mental health and CPS goons are having a field day at the expense of these children and people. The truth is this about Warren Steed Jeffs, whom they cannot ever punish enough to satisfy there revengeful and mercyless souls. Americans need to wake-up. Few of you fit their goal of utopia and perfection. The people of Eldorado Tx who were so afraid of these people taking over their county by becoming voters threw away these peoples freedom to be left alone, for their own security. The good citizens of Eldorado, and all involved in doing that, deserve neither freedom nor security. Let us leave some things for God to judge and deal with.
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