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3-Year-Old Girl Found in Child Abuse Case That 'Shocks the Soul


“Officers who responded to the scene were troubled by the conditions and having to witness this..."

A placard of a child sits on a table during a conference Oct. 31 on human sex trafficking in Atlanta. The Georgia Department of Education estimates that about 5,000 girls in the state are at risk for trafficking each year. (AP Photo) (contrib)

Police in Mesa, Arizona, are investigating a case concerning a 3-year-old girl who was found covered in feces and bound by duct tape inside a trash bag in a man's closet.

Francisco Rios-Covarrubias, 30, was arrested Monday alongside the girl's mother, Mayra Solis, 22, for their alleged involvement in the child abuse case that the Mesa police chief has called one of the worst that the department has ever dealt with, according to KNXV-TV.

The malnourished girl, who was allegedly offered up for sex, was inside a trash bag with her mouth and limbs duct taped and littered with feces, according to KTVK-TV. Her body was riddled with bruises, blisters, rashes and scars, and injuries to her genital area indicated that she had been sexually abused, as well. The child was unable to stand on her own when she was found.

"This is just one of those cases that just shocks the soul," said Mesa Police Chief John Meza, according to KTVK. “Officers who responded to the scene were troubled by the conditions and having to witness this and without delay we have resources for them, also."

The girl was found in Rios-Covarrubias' closet after a man who arrived at the apartment to engage in consensual sex with Rios-Covarrubias noticed a foul odor and discovered her, later calling the police to the scene, according to the Associated Press. The man alleged that Rios-Covarrubias offered the child to him for sex, though the man, who was upset at the suggestion, declined the offer and left the apartment, only to return later.

"[Rios-Covarrubias] wanted to have sex with other people and said he put the child in the closet because she was too loud," officers said.

The Mesa police told KNXV that Solis would often leave her daughter with Rios-Covarrubias to babysit her for days at a time, even though she knew that he would leave her daughter alone for hours at a time while he was at work. She also allegedly shaved the girl's head, claiming that her daughter had cancer in order to coax people to donate money for her care.

Solis is facing child abuse charges, whereas Rios-Covarrubias is facing additional charges for sex trafficking, kidnapping, sexual conduct with a minor and felony child abuse.

"It brings to light the efforts we need to continue on sex trafficking. It’s a problem that exists," Meza told KTVK. “In this case, it was a combination of just evilness but also the fact that the suspect had offered up this child to the person who called to have sex with."

Follow Kathryn Blackhurst (@kablackhurst) on Twitter


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