By Errol Castens/NEMS Daily Journal
OXFORD – Janet Barreto, wanted by Union County and federal authorities on charges related to the death of her 2-year-old adopted daughter, was added Monday to the U.S. Marshals Service 15 Most Wanted list.
Officials say this high-profile designation could mean more focus on finding her and her husband, Ramon Barreto, who escaped while free on bond in May 2009.
They face indictment on 10 counts, including six of child endangerment, three of child abuse and one of manslaughter by culpable negligence.
Janet Barreto also faces an additional charge of witness tampering.
After their release on bond, they left Union County and have evaded capture from Mississippi to Mexico and southern California.
Dennis Erby, U.S. marshal for North Mississippi, said Monday the Top 15 list includes individuals wanted “for high-profile crimes.”
The listing also offers a $25,000 reward for information leading to Janet Barreto’s incarceration.
Anyone with information on the Barretos is urged to call the U.S. Marshals Service at (800) 336-0102.
The couple came under law enforcement scrutiny in May 2008 with the death of Enna, one of several children they adopted from Guatemala.
“One of the saddest days I’ve ever been a part of was the funeral for little Enna,” said Ben Creekmore, district attorney in the Third Judicial District of Mississippi. “This case demands for them to stand trial.”
The couple also are believed to have ties in Florida, Nevada, Tennessee and Texas.
Recent reports claimed they were seen near Los Angeles, selling puppies in a shopping center parking lot.
The TV program “America’s Most Wanted” has repeatedly publicized the hunt for them.
“We’re certainly proud that the Marshals Service has added these individuals to their Top 15 Most Wanted list,” said Union County Sheriff Jimmy Edwards. “We feel it will place a lot more emphasis on it and make people pay a lot more attention now.”
IF YOU have information: Call the U.S. Marshals Service at (800) 336-0102