How much is that beautiful little cockatoo worth to you? I've known some bird lovers in my time and wonder, would they swap two kids and 175 bucks for a bird?
Three adults have been charged in a case where a 4-year-old girl and a 5-year-old boy were used, along with $175 for legal fees to complete the adoption process, as payment for a cockatoo.
Brandy Lynn Romero, aged 27, and her 46-year-old husband, Paul, were charged with one count each of aggravated kidnapping. 51-year-old Donna Louise Greenwell is being held on a charge of kidnapping.
The children had been living with Donna Louise for about a year. Greenwell is not their biological mother. Greenwell is reported to be a long-haul trucker who delivers cattle state to state. She also has what is being described as an "extensive" criminal history, and is a convicted pedophile.
Greenwell saw the Romero's notice posted at a livestock barn advertising that they wanted to sell a cockatoo. When she contacted them and found out how much they wanted, she told them that she was not able to come up with that kind of cash. After a bit a chit chat, Greenwell found out that the couple were childless and had been trying for years to have children so she offered them an exchange: her kids for the bird.
The Romero's got caught when an anonymous tipster called police after seeing the Romero's with the two children, talked to them for a bit and became suspicious of their story.
Eunice Police Chief Gary Fontenot said that the kids have been swapped from family to family for a number of years and added:
We are only going with what the kids have told us. It's a mess.
Now, you might be asking: where is the kid's bio mom in all this? Well, authorities say that she is a fugitive from the law. Police are actively seeking out the whereabouts of the children's father and also are looking for another child, described as a half-sibling to the two youngster, a 17-month-old who is said to be living with yet another family somewhere in Louisiana.