Funeral for 2-year-old today in Pontotoc

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Date: 2008-05-22
Source: djournal.com

Funeral for 2-year-old today in Pontotoc

5/22/2008 6:57:17 AM
BY DANZA JOHNSON
Daily Journal

NEW ALBANY - While her parents sit behind bars, 2-year-old Enna Barreto will be buried today.

The child died Sunday in what authorities say was a homicide, the result of a blow to the head. Her adoptive parents, Ramone Barreto, 29, and Janet Barreto, 36, have been charged with child neglect in connection with the girl's death after she died in a Memphis hospital.

Charges against Ramon and Janet Barreto have yet to be upgraded, but Sheriff Tommy Wilhite said their status could change any day now.

Visitation for the child will be held today from noon to 2 p.m. at Tutor Memorial Funeral Home in Pontotoc, with her burial planned at Martintown cemetery.

Enna was just one of the couple's seven adopted Guatemalan children. Janet's two biological children lived in the home as well and Ramon was the father of one of those children. Wilhite said Janet is now seven weeks pregnant.

"We talked with the DA's office and they said for us to continue with the investigation before we charge the couple with anything else," said Wilhite. "We have a few more people to interview, so we are not prepared to charge anyone with capital murder yet. But a change could come when the investigation is complete."

District Attorney Ben Creekmore said it is too early in the investigation to draw any conclusion on the direction the case will go.

"There are multiple agencies investigating the animal cruelty, child endangerment and death of the child found at the residence," said Creekmore. "There is still so much work to be done on this case."

According to Creekmore, a bond hearing is expected to take place for the Barretos within the next couple of days to determine if a bond will be set.

More neglect
Doctors had notified law enforcement officials of possible child abuse after Enna was taken to Memphis. In their follow-up investigation at the Barretos' home at 824 County Road 87 near New Albany, sheriff's deputies found a puppy breeding operation with nearly 200 caged dogs and 25 cats.

Despite the foul odors and bad conditions at the house, neighbors didn't report any problems to authorities.

One woman, who asked not to be identified, said she heard the dogs barking all the time and even smelled the odor from the feces, but said that the animals usually calmed down after they were fed.

She said Janet Barreto was a very nice, friendly woman who always spoke when she drove past her home. The woman said she had no idea that more than two children lived in the house because she always saw the same two out in the yard.

There were very few houses near the Barretos' home, which was in a rural part of the county.

The Barretos didn't have jobs. They rented out some trailers they owned throughout the county and sold puppies.

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