The mother of a 3-year-old girl and a friend entrusted with her care are behind bars accused of committing egregious acts of child abuse so bad that Mesa's police chief called it one of the worst cases the department has had to investigate.
Police said the child was found on Monday in a Mesa home concealed in a trash bag with her hands and feet bound with duct tape and her mouth covered. The girl was covered in feces, bruised, blistered, suffering from a rash, and only wearing a diaper and shirt.
Mayra Solis, the child's mother, and Francisco Javier Rios-Covarrubias, were booked into jail on several charges.
Police said the child was at Rios-Covarrubias' home, where she would often stay for days at a time, while Solis worked. The mother told police that sometimes she would only see her daughter one day out of the week.
When the girl was at the friend's house, she often would be home alone for hours while Rios-Covarrubias was at work, according to police.
Mesa Police Chief John Meza said the girl is at the hospital recovering and is listed in fair condition. She is unable to stand and is not currently talking to investigators. It's not clear if she's not talking to detectives because she's scared or if she cannot speak.
HOW THE INVESTIGATION BEGAN
Meza said during a Tuesday morning press conference that the investigation began Monday when a man contacted police about seeing a child bound and gagged with duct tape in a closet.
The man told police that he met Rios-Coverrubias online and the two agreed to meet for sex. When the man arrived at Rios-Coverrubias' home, he noticed a "bad odor," according to Meza, and found the child in a closet.
At that point, Rios-Coverrubias allegedly asked the man if he wanted to have sex with the child. The man became upset and left, but returned later and had consensual sex with the man thinking the child was gone, according to police.
After the second encounter is when the man contacted authorities and officers arrived at Rios-Coverrubias' house.
MAN ADMITS TO BINDING GIRL WITH DUCT TAPE
Rios-Coverrubias, according to Mesa Police, did admit to binding the girl with duct tape. He told detectives that he wanted to keep the girl quiet so he could have sex with other people.
He did not admit to sexually abusing the girl, but police said there was evidence that the girl was sexually assaulted.
He was booked into jail on charges of sex trafficking, kidnapping, sexual conduct with a minor and felony child abuse.
WHAT WE KNOW ABOUT THE MOTHER
Police said the mother, 21-year-old Mayra Solis, would leave the child with Rios-Coverrubias for days at a time, while sometimes seeing the child as little as once a week. She was also aware that her child would be alone for hours, while the other suspect was at work himself, according to police.
Solis also allegedly shaved her daughter's head and claimed she had cancer so people would donate money for her daughter's care, according to authorities.
She was booked into jail on charges of child abuse.
NO HISTORY WITH DEPARTMENT OF CHILD SAFETY
Meza said his office is not aware of any history between the suspects and the Department of Child Safety.
The child is now in DCS custody.
This is a breaking news story. We will update as new information comes into the newsroom.