Mother accused of tying up 3-year-old son, putting bag over head before home went up in flames


Maricela Magana Ruiz

SANTA PAULA, Calif. — A California mother faces charges after allegedly tying up her 3-year-old before their home caught fire, according to the Santa Paula Police Department. Investigators have not determined what started the fire.

At about 6:10 p.m. Sunday, police responded to a fire on Bahia Circle.

Firefighters worked their way into the burning house and found a woman tied to a bed and her 3-year-old son in another room. The two were taken to a hospital after suffering smoke inhalation.

Detectives and arson investigators began looking into the cause of the fire.

Detectives held lengthy interviews with Maricela Magana Ruiz, 47, of Santa Paula, and believe she had tied her 3-year-old’s hands and placed a plastic bag over his head before leaving him in the room alone.

Investigators are unsure of the motive and have not officially determined the cause of the fire.

Ruiz was charged with felony child endangerment and placed in Ventura County Jail under a $50,000 bond.

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