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Mendocino County deputies arrest Covelo woman as part of Khadijah Britton investigation

A Covelo woman was booked into jail Tuesday as Mendocino County prosecutors pursue a felony charge claiming she aided a man who authorities arrested and then released in the disappearance of his girlfriend earlier this year.

Antonia Bautista-Dalson, 20, was taken into custody on an arrest warrant earlier that day, when a deputy spotted her at a Mendocino County Sheriff's Office substation in Covelo, Sheriff's Lt. Shannon Barney said. Bautista-Dalson, who was at the substation for an unrelated matter, was booked about 5:35 p.m. on felony suspicion of harboring or concealing a wanted felon, the county's booking logs show.

Mendocino County District Attorney's Office spokesman Mike Geniella declined to the share any details in the case on Wednesday, only saying the charge stems from an ongoing investigation into the disappearance of Khadijah Britton. The charge against Bautista-Dalson will be formally read to her at an arraignment hearing at 9 a.m. Thursday at the Mendocino County Superior Court, Geniella said.

“The bottom line is, this is a high-profile case that's a longstanding investigation and we're not going to discuss the specifics,” Geniella said.

Britton was 23 when her family reported her missing in February. The Sheriff's Office named Britton's boyfriend, Negie Fallis IV, as a suspect in the missing person's case after witnesses told police they saw him take Britton from a home at gunpoint on Feb. 7.

The incident occurred less than a week after she told police he attacked her with a hammer. She has not been seen since.

Police found Bautista-Dalson with Fallis when he was arrested at a house at the 23000 block of Road 337D on Feb. 19, Barney said. Authorities believe the two may have had a romantic relationship at around that time, he added.

“We were looking at (Fallis) in connection to an assault to Khadijah,” Barney said of the arrest. “(Bautista-Dalson) was thought to be aiding and abetting him.”

Fallis pleaded not guilty to felony counts of attempted murder, kidnapping and assault with a deadly weapon, though the Mendocino District Attorney's Office later decided to drop those charges on June 11 because of insufficient evidence. His bail was dropped from $400,000 to $35,000.

As of Tuesday, Fallis still faced possession of gun and ammunition charges resulting from his Feb. 19 arrest but is no longer in jail, Barney said. He was released on bail on June 30, and it was unclear Wednesday when his next court date would be.

You can reach Staff Writer Nashelly Chavez at 707-521-5203 or nashelly.chavez@pressdemocrat.com. On Twitter @nashellytweets.

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