Police said Ramon and Janet Borretto forced their nine children and 200 animals to live in deplorable conditions. More >>
As Tupelo Humane Society volunteers worked to rescue 200 dogs and cats from disgusting conditions Wednesday in a house near New Albany, Mississippi, sheriff's deputies worked to investigate the murder of a two-year-old there and the possible abuse her eight siblings.
Ramon and Janet Barreto's two-year-old daughter died at the hospital from blunt force trauma to her head. The possibility of sexual abuse of the children is also under investigation.
The children are now in state custody.
"I don't have words to explain," Sheriff Tommy Wilhite said. "Imagine 185 dogs, 25 cats, and nine kids in a three bedroom trailer. Pretty bad situation."
Wilhite said one of the children, a three-year-old, only weighed 20 pounds. That child and two others didn't make any sounds at all to communicate.
Of the Barreto's nine children, seven are adopted. It appears all the adopted children are from Guatemala.
"ICE agents are working to determine how they got across the border legally," Wilhite said.
What may not be legal is how five of the children were adopted. Officials said paperwork was missing, and investigators are trying to determine if the children were stolen.
Meanwhile the Humane Society is working on an investigation of it's own into animal abuse inside the home. Wednesday, investigators said the couple could face additional charges, and former customers spoke out for the first time about the animals they bought from the couple.
Whitney Hurdle unknowingly adopted a seven week old puppy, Tootsie, from the Barretos. Hurdle said she found the couple through a classified ad.
"Only one close," she said. "I could get it the next day. Didn't look into it. Now I wish I had."
Rather than get the puppy at the breeder's house, the breeder had Hurdle meet her in a parking lot. That's where Hurdle handed over $500 in cash- the only method of payment Barreto accepted.
"Had a child with her, a little girl," Hurdle said. "Nine or ten. Little girl carrying the puppy. She seemed alright. Gave me papers."
When Hurdle took Tootsie to the vet for her boosters, the vet was concerned about the teacup yorkie's size.
"He said he'd never seen one that small," she said.
A day after the booster shots, Tootsie died. Hurdle said she hoped her experience would encourage others always go the breeder's home before buying a dog.
Sunday, May 19 2013 10:35 PM EDT2013-05-20 02:35:37 GMT
Authorities have recovered the body of a 10-year-old boy who apparently drowned after an all-terrain vehicle overturned in a Mississippi creek. The search for the boy's younger brother continued Sunday. ColumbusMore >>
Authorities have recovered the body of a 6-year-old boy who apparently drowned after an all-terrain vehicle overturned in a Mississippi creek. The search for the boy's older brother continued Sunday.More >>
Sunday, May 19 2013 5:35 PM EDT2013-05-19 21:35:57 GMT
A body discovered in Clinton Saturday night has led to a homicide investigation. Hinds County Coroner Sharon Grisham Stewart confirms a body was discovered, although few other details are known. The bodyMore >>
Clinton Police Department's Interim Chief Mike Warren said upon further investigation, it appears an disagreement over a woman may have led to the death of a Jackson man.
Sunday, May 19 2013 10:53 PM EDT2013-05-20 02:53:15 GMT
JPD searched a Jackson Home at 846 Brandon Ave., Saturday that netted four arrests, a variety of drugs and $1,500. "On May 18, 2013, The Jackson Police Department's Vice and Narcotics Unit responded toMore >>
JPD searched a Jackson Home at 846 Brandon Ave., Saturday that netted four arrests, a variety of drugs and $1,500.More >>
Sunday, May 19 2013 9:11 PM EDT2013-05-20 01:11:48 GMT
Clinton H.S. students evacuated the school after the threat
Thursday Clinton police arrested a Clinton Alternative School student in connection with several recent bomb threats to Clinton High School. Police now say more people will be arrested in connection withMore >>
Police now say more people will be arrested in connection with the threats.More >>
Friday, May 17 2013 7:16 PM EDT2013-05-17 23:16:53 GMT
One person has died in a crash near Harrisonville, MO, Thursday evening. The crash happened on Missouri Highway 7 and Walker Road. It involved a car and a tractor-trailer. Harrisonville is in Cass County.More >>
Savannah Nash celebrated her 16th birthday last week. She died Thursday when her car slammed into a semi while she was texting during her first time driving by herself.More >>
Wednesday, July 11 2012 6:10 AM EDT2012-07-11 10:10:08 GMT
(WMC-TV) – Dozens of police recruits were injured during training exercises last week and the heat could be to blame. The entire current class at the police academy filed paperwork claiming to be injuredMore >>
Dozens of police recruits were injured during training exercises last week and the heat could be to blame.More >>
Saturday, May 18 2013 10:00 PM EDT2013-05-19 02:00:02 GMT
Observers are predicting a speedy confirmation to the federal bench for Jackson attorney Debra M. Brown. If confirmed, Brown would become the state's first black female district judge. Carl Tobias, aMore >>
Observers are predicting a speedy confirmation to the federal bench for Jackson attorney Debra M. Brown.More >>
Sunday, May 19 2013 7:29 PM EDT2013-05-19 23:29:27 GMT
Jackson mayoral candidates will face off in another forum to explain their views on public schools in the capital city. The forum was scheduled be start at 6 p.m. Sunday in the community room of the JacksonMore >>
Jackson mayoral candidates will face off in another forum to explain their views on public schools in the capital city.More >>
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