Mother tied son’s hands during California fire

Clay Curtis
December 5, 2019

A woman was arrested after allegedly putting a plastic bag over her three -year-old son's head and tying him up as their Santa Paula, California home burned over the weekend, police said Monday.

Ventura County firefighters rescued the boy and woman and put out the fire, which was in the downstairs living room, according to police.

"On Sunday, December 1st, 2019 at 6:10 PM, Santa Paula Police Department received a 911 call of a structure fire on Bahia Circle where a woman was tied to a bed and a young boy was in another part of the home", the department's Facebook post read.

Updated at 2:27 p.m. ET with additional comment from the Santa Paula Police Department. Both survived. A 70-year-old male relative of Ruiz, believed to be her father, arrived at the home around the same time as firefighters and he was also treated and released from a nearby hospital, local outlet the Ventura County Star reports.

"Her motive is unknown and the investigation is ongoing", the Santa Paula Police Department said in a statement. Her bail was set at $50,000. Her bail was then increased to $500,000 after detectives said she may have caused the fire herself. They determined Ruiz had placed the bag over the child's head and tied his hands before situating him in the bedroom by himself, according to the release.

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Ruiz was booked into the Ventura County Jail for felony child endangerment, police said.

The department said a motive is now unknown and the investigation into the incident is ongoing.

It was not immediately clear if she had an attorney who could speak on her behalf.

Police said Magana Ruiz's arrest came "after lengthy interviews" with her.

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