Friday, District Attorney Ben Creekmore said his office realized they were gone after the couple failed to appear for a May 6 arraignment for Mrs. Barreto, who was to answer a new charge of threatening a witness.
The Barretos were out of jail on $450,000 bond each after their Nov. 28 release from the Union County Jail.
They were arrested last May after 2-year-old Ena Barreto died of severe head and lower body trauma.
Her half-sister, now-18-year-old Marainna Torres, admitted in July that she killed the child in a fit of rage over being left to care for the numerous young children. She has not yet been sentenced.
A Union County grand jury indicted the Barretos on seven counts of child endangerment, felony child abuse and manslaughter by culpable negligence.
A year ago, when police went to their trailer home outside New Albany, they also found a squalid puppy mill operation housing dozens of dogs and other animals for sale.
Creekmore said the new charge against Janet Barreto came after the discovery that she had telephoned Torres, jailed in Union County, and allegedly threatened her daughter if she did not recant her story.
Anyone with information about the Barretos’ whereabouts is asked to call the Union County Sheriff’s office at (662) 534-1941.
Read Saturday’s Daily Journal for more details about the Barreto case.