Kids Traded for Bird

Thursday, February 26, 2009 - 7:29pm

Three people face kidnapping charges after deputies say they were involved in a bizarre scheme to trade a tropical bird and cash for two children. It’s a story that is hard to believe. A woman said to be the guardian of two children is at the center of a kidnapping case. Katie Lopez has more on the arrests in Evangeline Parish.

All Paul and Brandy Romero ever wanted was children of their own. But little did they know that wanting something so badly could lead to a lapse in judgment. Paul and Brandy were arrested for aggravated kidnapping, after they allegedly bought two children from Donna Greenwell of Pitkin.

Captain Keith Dupre, with the Evangeline Parish Sheriff’s Office says Greenwell contacted the Romeros after she saw they were selling a cockatoo. From there, the couple gave Greenwell the cockatoo and $175 for the two children. “The $175 was going to be for the paperwork for the attorney to do the legal adoption.”

But that didn’t happen. Two days later Paul and Brandy were arrested. It was at a McDonald’s in Eunice where the Romeros were arrested on Saturday. They say since that arrest they’ve been a target to ridicule. “People want to hang us and kill us and do different things.”

Cpt. Dupre says the couple told him they’d gotten the children from Donna Greenwell. From there Cpt. Dupre says they went to Pitkin to talk to Greenwell. “She was in Texas at the time. She would be in to speak to us on the following day.” After speaking with Greenwell, deputies arrested her for aggravated kidnapping. She remains behind bars with a bond set at $100,000. As for the Romareos, they’re still facing kidnapping charges.

The two children, who’d been living with Greenwell for the past year, are now with a foster family. The boy and girl are ages four and five. The cockatoo is still with the Greenwell family.