Mom wants to set record straight in alleged child-selling case

Police have learned that Donna Greenwell, 51, of Pitkin, charged with selling two children to a Eunice-area couple for a cockatoo and $175, has had a number of children living with her over the years.

Evangeline Chief of Detectives Keith Dupre was working Friday on a warrant to file charges of selling of minor children against Greenwell.

Brandy Romero, 27, and Paul Romero, 46, the couple who bought the children, and Greenwell are charged with aggravated kidnapping. The Romeros are free on $5,000 bond; Greenwell is in the Evangeline jail with a $100,000 bond set.

Greenwell allegedly contacted the couple about purchasing a bird for $1,500 when the conversation turned to children and Greenwell realized the childless couple wanted children but couldn’t have them naturally.

The couple agreed to take custody of the two children, a four-year-old girl and five-year-old boy, siblings, for the bird and $175 in cash. The cash allegedly was going to be used by Greenwell to begin the adoption process.

Investigators received a tip about this exchange which led to the investigation of kids being sold in Eunice..

On Saturday, February 21, authorities went to McDonald’s in Eunice and approached the Romeros, who cooperated with the authorities.

Dupre explained the Romeros appeared to have good intentions and took care of the children while they were in their custody. The children are now in state custody.

The Romeros’ bond was lowered to $5,000 each from $100,000 each after their arrest on aggravated kidnapping charges. They posted bond.

Investigators also learned a 17-month-old male sibling to the two children was in the home of relatives in Allen Parish, who were involved in an adoption process.

Dupre said an aunt of the biological mother of the two children did call him Thursday to say the mother was coming home from Texas to set this story straight.

He said he advised the aunt to direct her niece to local authorities in her town. He explained when Greenwell came into custody of the two children it did not occur in Evangeline Parish, so the place where the exchange was made was important to law enforcement there.

Because of all the publicity surrounding the incident, authorities are not releasing much information in this case, which spans several parishes, St. Landry, Allen, Rapides, Vernon and Evangeline.

Dupre said they were working to complete their investigation and make sure the children were safe in the future.

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