Child trafficking suspects from Mississippi seen in Bakersfield

Child trafficking suspects from Mississippi seen in Bakersfield
BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KBAK/KBFX) — The story of Ramon and Janet Barreto sounds like a tragic movie. They've been on the run from the law out of Mississippi for years, wanted on various charges and believed to be involved in trafficking children from Guatemala.

"They took better care of their dogs than they did their children," said Deputy U.S. Marshal Zack Tyler on Thursday.

The couple were allegedly running a puppy mill out of their property in New Albany, The couple had three children between them and numerous other children they had adopted, including a then 2-year-old girl named Enna.

Tyler said the couple would leave a teenage daughter to tend to the children and the dogs while they were gone.

"Apparently one day the daughter just was overwhelmed by being left alone with the dogs and the children and snapped and took the little baby and basically shook it," said Tyler.

Enna died.

The couple reportedly told police she had fallen out of a shopping cart. Ramon and Janet Barreto were charged in the child's death, along with their daughter, but the couple fled from the area in 2009.

When police searched their house and property, they found dogs in deplorable conditions, laying in and eating feces, said Tyler.

And then police discovered a back trailer with something even more disturbing.

"They found multiple children that were various ages up to about 5 or 6 that were tied up, duct tape tied to the crib," said the marshal.

Some of the children had stored food in their mouths like squirrels, because they didn't know when they would get their next meal, said Tyler.

Ramon Barreto had ties to Guatemala and was allegedly trafficking children out of that country.

The couple were spotted as recently as a week and a half ago in Bakersfield, in the parking lot outside Macy's at Valley Plaza Mall.

The couple are believed to be in an older model red two-door car with a black convertible top. They are known to frequent paring lots at Wal-Mart stores, 99 Cent stores, parks and swap meets. They sell counterfeit DVDs, along with puppies, said Tyler.

Ramon Barreto is 5-foot-5 and 137 pounds with brown eyes and black hair. Janet Barreto is 5-foot-6 and 300 pounds with brown eyes and black hair. She will sometimes wear a blonde wig to hide her identity.

Anyone who may know the whereabouts of the couple is urged to call Marshal Zack Tyler at (559) 352-0443 or call 911.