By Errol Castens
NEW ALBANY – Union County Sheriff Jimmy Edwards said the inmate-retrieval service contracted to return a pair of longtime fugitives back to Mississippi left the Memphis area for the West Coast on Tuesday.
Janet and Ramon Barreto were arrested last week in Oregon, some five years after they failed to appear in Union County court to face charges of manslaughter, child abuse and neglect and, for Janet Barreto, witness tampering after the death of their 2-year-old daughter, Enna, in 2008.
They now face a combined 25 state and federal charges, including unlawful flight to avoid prosecution.
Edwards said he arranged last week with Inmate Service Corporation of West Memphis, Arkansas, to transport the Barretos from Oregon by ground vehicle. After an initial projection of pickup by Tuesday, Edwards got confirmation that afternoon that one of the company’s inmate transport teams had just left and expected to pick up the couple late this week.
“They told me that they did leave today, but it looked like it would be Monday before they get back,” he said. “It’s a 12-passenger van. They’ll make several pickups on the West Coast.”
Edwards said normally law enforcement agencies grant up to 10 days to retrieve suspects arrested in non-local jurisdictions.
Because of the distance involved, he said, Union County actually has a cushion of time until late next week in case of transport complications.