Janet Killough Barreto, the only woman on the U.S. Marshals Service's 15 Most Wanted list, has been captured after evading authorities for five years.
CNN reports that Barreto was apprehended in Portland, Oregon, along with her husband, Ramon Barreto. Both are accused of committing a litany of despicable crimes; Janet Barreto, who has been on the Most Wanted List since 2013, is wanted in Mississippi for failing to appear in court on "charges of manslaughter of a child, three counts of child abuse, six counts of child neglect and tampering with a witness."
The accusations against the Barretos are horrific. The couple traveled to Guatemala multiple times in 2005 and 2006 to adopt children; according to authorities, they then allegedly forced their adopted children to live in deplorable conditions, subjecting them to terrible abuse and leaving them malnourished. The children were "purportedly often punished with beatings and on various occasions duct-taped to their beds, punched in the stomach, and forced to endure having their heads submerged under water," says the Marshals Service. In 2008, a 2-year-old girl died as a result of the abuse.
Although Barreto was arrested in 2008 for CHILD ABUSE AND KILLING A CHILD, she was released on bond after six months. In 2009, she was arrested for tampering with a witness and again released on bond. She never appeared in court to face the myriad charges against her after that; ever since then, she's been on the run, disguising herself and using aliases to avoid detection.
Fortunately, both she and her husband have been detected at last: the Columbian reports that a tipster in Portland alerted authorities after spotting the Barretos at a local shopping mall with an 11-month-old boy. The couple was taken into custody, where they're awaiting extradition to Mississippi, and the infant was placed with Child Protective Services.
"The crimes [Barreto and her husband] are alleged to have committed are nothing short of horrendous and despicable," Union County, Mississippi, Sheriff Jimmy Edwards told CNN. "Now it is time to let justice be served."
Image via CNN.