Archive for Friday, February 27, 2009

3 charged in swap of 2 kids for pet bird, cash

February 27, 2009

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— A Louisiana woman is accused of trading two young children in her care for a pet cockatoo and $175 cash from a couple who had been trying for years to have their own child, authorities said Thursday.

Donna Greenwell, 53, a long-haul trucker with an arrest record from Pitkin, is charged with aggravated kidnapping, along with would-be adoptive parents Paul J. Romero, 46, and Brandy Lynn Romero, 27, of Evangeline Parish.

“The Romeros had good intentions from what we see,” said Keith Dupre, a detective with the Evangeline Parish Sheriff’s Office. “They really wanted to take care of the kids. The kids were well-dressed and seemed to be treated good by the Romero family.”

The transaction for the 5-year-old boy and the 4-year-old girl was negotiated by phone after Greenwell spotted a flier posted at a livestock barn selling a cockatoo for $1,500 and called the Romeros on Feb. 18, Dupre said.

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