February 26, 2009
Donna Greenwell’s Ideas Are For The Birds - Three Arrested In Plot To Trade Two Kids For Pet Cockatoo
Louisiana (The Weekly Vice) -- A Louisiana woman and a couple have been arrested after the woman agreed to sell two children to the couple for $175 and a pet bird.
Donna Greenwell, 53, Paul Romero, 46, and Brandy Romero, 27, were arrested on kidnapping charges after the trio arranged a deal to exchange a 5-year-old boy and 4-year-old girl for the couples pet bird.
Investigators say the shady deal began when Donna Greenwell found a sign at a Louisiana livestock barn advertising the pet cockatoo for $1500. She allegedly contacted the couple and offered to sell two children to them for $2,000. When the couple told her they could not meet that price, she agreed to exchange the children for the bird. She also charged them $175 in “fees” to set up the adoption.
There was, however, no legal adoption in place and the woman did not have legal authority to offer the children for adoption in the first place.Although Greenwell has guardianship of the children, she is not the mother of either child, according to the Evangeline Parish Sheriff’s Office.
Details about how the children came into Greenwell’s care is still murky, however detectives believe she began caring for the children about a year ago at the mother’s request.
Greenwell told investigations that the mother was having a hard time and asked her to babysit the children. She said one month became two months and two months led to a year, according to a detective on the case.
The children’s father, who resides in Leesville, was interviewed by detectives and expressed interest in gaining custody of the children. The children’s mother believed to be residing in Texas reportedly told investigators that she plans to come to Evangeline Parish soon. It is unclear as to whether the state will allow visitation or a custody arrangement with either parent.
Authorities are currently investigating a claim of sexual abuse made by one of the children, but it Greenwell or the Romeros do not appear to be involved with that allegation.
The Romeros were released from jail on a $5,000 bond while Greenwell remains incarcerated on a $100,000 bond.
The Weekly Vice Opinion:
Normally, The Weekly Vice has the belief that children are usually better off with their natural parents unless there’s a strong argument as to why they shouldn’t be. This case provides a strong enough argument for me. I believe parental rights should be denied to both these parents who went off to pursue their own problems, leaving these kids behind.
Never mind the allegation of sexual abuse, which doesn’t surprise me a bit, it’s insulting that the mother stated her plans to come “soon”. Hey mom, how about coming right now?
Had I been in the situation, “soon” would not be good enough. I wouldn’t care if I had to ride a bike to Louisiana - I’d be there the next day come hell or high water.
‘Better late than never’ is a phrase that applies well to a lot of things in life, but in this case it’s pathetic and inexcusable.
The Weekly Vice
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