(CBS13) — The U.S. Marshals are asking for the public’s help to find a couple who have been on the lam for more than three years after they were charged in the death of their 2-year-old daughter and have been seen in California.
Janet and Ramon Barreto are wanted for manslaughter in Mississippi and for multiple counts of child neglect and endangerment involving the abuse of their seven adopted children, authorities said.
The Barretos were arrested May 19, 2008, a day after their daughter died. They told authorities she had fallen from a grocery cart. At that time, the couple was also running an illegal puppy mill where authorities found hundreds of sick and injured animals crammed into cages.
A judge set a bond for each Barreto at $450,000, but they fled to Mexico where their trail went cold, U.S. Marshals officials said.
“The couple has been profiled on “America’s Most Wanted” as recently as April 2012, and there have been confirmed sightings of the fugitive couple between fall 2010 and summer 2012 in the following areas of California: Huntington Park, Maywood, Bell, Bakersfield, Palmdale and Taft,” authorities said in a statement.
Both have ties to California, Texas, Florida, Mississippi and Mexico.
The Barretos have sold and may still be selling small dogs such as Yorkies, Maltese and Poodles to people on the street and through ads posted on Internet sites, investigators reveal. Janet Barreto would allegedly meet the buyers in area parking lots and quickly leave with their cash. The Barretos also allegedly sold DVDs and CDs from their 1990s white Dodge Caravan in area parking lots, and Ramon was often seen panhandling while Janet sold DVDs or lounged on a nearby blanket.
Janet Barreto is described as a white female, 5 feet 5 inches tall, weighing more than 300 pounds. She is known to dress in all black and wear blonde or red wigs. She speaks both English and Spanish.
Ramon Barreto is described as a Hispanic male, 5 feet 5 inches tall, weighing approximately 137 pounds. Ramon only speaks Spanish.
Anyone with information on the whereabouts of Janet and/or Ramon Barreto should contact the U.S. Marshals Service:
• U.S. Marshals Service Communications Center at 1-800-336-0102 or
• Deputy U.S. Marshal Gale Manning at 662-816-3013 (English speakers) or
• Deputy U.S. Marshal David Dominguez at 213-798-6446 (Spanish speakers) or
• Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Any information provided will be considered confidential, and there is a cash award of up to $2,500 per fugitive available for information leading to their arrest.