A woman was held after allegedly putting a plastic bag over her 3-year-old boy’s head and tying him up as their Santa Paula, California home fired over the weekend, police said Monday.
Firefighters initially saw the woman tied to a bed when they returned to a structure fire at a home on Bahia Circle about 6:10 p.m. Sunday, according to the Santa Paula Police Department.
While extinguishing the burning in the downstairs living room, crews found the toddler alone in another bedroom. The boy had a plastic bag over his head and his hands were tied, a police news release stated.
Firefighters rescued the mom and child and transported both to a local hospital where they took treatment for smoke inhalation.
After the burning was put out, detectives and arson investigators were sent to the scene.
Police questioned the woman, 47-year-old Maricela Magana Ruiz, and then held her. They discovered Ruiz had placed the bag over the kid’s head and tied his hands before situating him in the room by himself, according to the release.
She was arrested on suspicion of felony child endangerment and is being taken at the Ventura County Jail on $50,000 bail.
A motive was not instantly known. Detectives are looking into the probability it’s related to a domestic dispute over child care, Police Chief Matthew Rodriguez said.
Researchers are also trying to determine if the blaze was purposely set.
Austin Daniel, who exists two doors down from Ruiz, told KTLA her family kept to themselves in the typically calm neighborhood.
Police have not issued any additional data.