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Woman 'traded children for bird'

Guest xGlowingAngelx

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A woman sold two young children in her care for a pet cockatoo and 175 US dollars (£122) in cash to a couple desperate to have their own child, US authorities said.

Donna Greenwell, 53, is charged with aggravated kidnapping, along with would-be adoptive parents Paul Romero, 46, and Brandy Lynn Romero, 27.

"The Romeros had good intentions from what we see," said Keith Dupre, a detective with the Evangeline Parish Sheriff's Office in New Orleans. "They really wanted to take care of the kids. The kids were well-dressed and seemed to be treated good by the Romero family."

The transaction for the five-year-old boy and the four-year-old girl was negotiated by phone after Greenwell spotted a flier posted at a livestock barn selling a cockatoo for £1,000 and called the Romeros on February 18, Dupre said.

Although Paul Romero had three children from a previous marriage, Dupre said, he and Brandy had tried unsuccessfully for years to have a child together.

When they explained their situation to Greenwell, she allegedly offered to hand over the boy and girl for money. When the Romeros said they couldn't meet the price, Dupre said: "Ms Greenwell agreed to make an even trade: the bird for the kids."

Greenwell showed up with the children at the Romeros' home the next day and said she would also need 175 US dollars (£122) for a lawyer to complete adoption paperwork, Dupre said. But she had no authority to put the children up for adoption.

Everything began to unravel last week when authorities received a tip that the Romeros and the children would be at a local fast food restaurant, where authorities approached them. The children are now in state custody.

Greenwell's relationship to the children was unclear. Dupre said the children's father was being questioned and that authorities were looking for the mother, believed to be somewhere in Texas.

The Romeros were free on £3,500 bond. Greenwell remained in jail on £70,000 bond, Dupre said. She turned herself in on Sunday.

:o ! I'm speechless.....

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Am I the only one who's concerned that a pet cockatoo costs $1000? I suppose it's in the US, and they're not just flying around, screeching into the wee small hours of the morning.

Desperate or not, you have to suss that something's up when someone is willing to trade kids for a bird. I get that these deals sometimes go on to the benefit of both parties, and even the kids when they end up with parents better equipped to take care of them, but... a bird... is not what I would consider a reasonable transaction.

Very strange people.

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