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Mother accused of tying up 3-year-old son, setting their Santa Paula home on fire

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SANTA PAULA, Calif. (KABC) — A mother was arrested for allegedly leaving her 3-year-old son alone in a room with his hands tied and setting their Santa Paula home on fire.

When officers responded to a call of a structure fire on Bahia Circle Sunday afternoon, they found a woman tied to a bed and a boy in another part of the house, according to the Santa Paula Police Department. Firefighters rescued them and extinguished the fire.

After authorities interviewed the mother, identified as 47-year-old Marcela Magana Ruiz, they determined she endangered her son. Detectives say she put a plastic bag over his head, tied his hands and left him in a bedroom by himself.

A motive has not been determined but Magana Ruiz is facing felony child endangerment charges. She is being held at the Ventura County Jail on $50,000 bail. She is expected to appear in court on Dec. 19.

An earlier version of this story had an incorrect spelling of the mother’s name. It has since been fixed.

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