Deputies: Bird-sitting friend sold parrot while woman was in jail

Published Jul. 23, 2012

PORT RICHEY — As Martha Herbenthal was being carted off to jail June 23, she asked her friend to watch her bird. But when Herbenthal, 66, posted bail and returned to the next day, her friend said Buddy the Blue Fronted Amazon Parrot was gone.

He "flew out the window," Stephanie Edgell, 32, told her friend, according to a Pasco County Sheriff's Office report. Herbenthal didn't believe her, sent friends scouring pet shops and finally found Buddy, who, authorities said, had been sold to Shady Hills Pet Shop for $225. The owner had a note where Edgell wrote her name, address and phone number prior to the sale, the report states.

Edgell, of 10924 Hillcrest Ave., was arrested Friday and charged with grand theft and dealing in stolen property. She is being held at the Pasco jail in lieu of $12,000 bail.

Herbenthal, of 15345 Dennis Drive in Hudson, was originally arrested on charges of obstructing an officer. She is accused of driving her son away from the scene of a battery, which happened at Edgell's house. Herbenthal's son is accused of beating Edgell and Edgell's boyfriend, who told investigators the fight might have been "drug related," the report states.

Buddy the parrot is now back home with Herbenthal, she told the Times Monday.