Pets can be loyal but if you're a parrot person and break the law, better watch that squawker!

Last week, a Philadelphia detective testified how a foul-mouthed bird helped lead police to a woman suspect on trial for abducting and sexually assaulting a 5-year-old from school last year.

During the 19 hours she spent blindfolded in a west Philadelphia home, the girl reported hearing a talking bird. Before she was abandoned at a park, she also got a glimpse of the back of the house.

But it was the swearing parrot that became the focus of Detective Daniel O'Malley's investigation. A tip led him to the home of 19-year-old Christina Regusters where detectives were greeted by a foul-mouthed macaw.

Regusters reportedly worked in an after-school program and knew the girl she was charged with abducting. Her lawyer argued that police have the wrong suspect.

This wasn't the first case of a pet squealing on its owner. Last January, Guillermo Reyes was pulled over by police in a routine stop in Mexico City.

When the officer approached Reyes' car and started to ask some routine questions, a voice in the car said, "He's drunk, he's drunk." The officer could not see anybody but Reyes' pet parrot, a real stool pigeon.

Reyes failed a breathalyzer test, which required a day in jail. When police saw how closely bonded the parrot was with his drunken owner, they decided to send both to the lockup.

Thus, Reyes had the dishonor of being busted for drunken driving after being ratted out by his pet.

This summer, a parrot named Heera was at the center of a murder investigation in Balkeshwar Colony, Agra, India. The suspect, Ashutosh Goswami, had decided to rob the home of his aunt and uncle with an accomplice and the plot led to the stabbing death of his aunt.

The victim's husband, Vijay Sharma, said Heera had identified his nephew as the killer with a squawk during a police lineup. Goswami was just one of a number of suspects until Sharma read out their names in front of the parrot. When Goswami's name was read, the parrot squawked "Usne maara, usne maara' -– 'he's the killer, he's the killer.'

As these suspects found out, there's no such thing as a silent witness in the parrot world.

By Jim Zbick

editor@tnonline.com [1]