The Barretos skipped bail several years ago. (Photo Source: Multnomah County Sheriff's Office)
Investigators say the children were duct taped to beds, dunked underwater and punched in the stomach. (Photo Source: WMC Action News 5 file)
(WMC) - A North Mississippi couple was captured while on the run and charged with abusing their adopted kids.
Janet and Ramon Barreto were taken into custody in Portland, Oregon Tuesday and Wednesday night. WMC Action News 5 spoke to a Mid-South sheriff who shifted roles from lawman to father of one of those children.
A tip led investigators to Portland. The Barretos skipped bail several years ago and the Union County Mississippi Sheriff is more than ready to welcome them into his jail.
Sheriff Jimmy Edwards was chief deputy when the investigation began into the couple, who were indicted five years ago in the death of their two-year-old adopted daughter.
"I got the call and I asked to see the pictures to make double sure," said Edwards. "I was happy, excited they've actually been caught."
It is a case he will never forget. Union County officials found seven children adopted from Guatemala in a trailer on the Barretos' Union County property.
"Just filth, roaches old food filth and smell. The smell is something I will never forget," noted Edwards.
Investigators say the children were duct taped to beds, dunked underwater and punched in the stomach. There was even a puppy mill on the property.
Sheriff Edwards says the Barretos were selling bootleg DVD's out of their car in Portland when they were caught with fake I.D.'s. Janet Barreto denied being herself.
A young child was with the couple, though it is not clear if he or she was the couple's biological child.
"That's what concerned us all along. Maybe more would have to go through it."1
A bright spot in all of this is, the children taken from the Barretos five years ago were all adopted. One boy was adopted by the sheriff whose son just turned 10 years old.
"He's precious. He's precious," said Edwards.
The sheriff says his son is doing well.
The Barretos signed extradition papers and should be back in Union County to face charges in a couple of weeks.
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