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Phoenix-area police rescue toddler stashed in closet, tied with tape

Francisco Rios-Covarrubias (left) and Mayra Solis booking photos.

PHOENIX — Mesa police said Tuesday they had rescued a 3-year-old girl who had been tied in duct tape, kept in an apartment’s closet and offered online for sex.

A man and a woman were arrested on child-abuse charges and the child was taken to a hospital for evaluation Monday.

Police said they found the girl after getting a tip that she was being offered online in a deal for sex.

Chief John Meza said the little girl was found in a large plastic garbage bag stashed inside a closet.

Her mouth, arms, hands and legs were wrapped in duct tape, her body had bruises and scratches and she was malnourished to the point where she could not stand.

“(This kind of case) shocks the soul,” Meza said.

Francisco Javier Rios-Covarrubuias was booked on charges of child abuse and sexual conduct with a minor. He was described as a friend of the girl’s mother, Mayra Yomali Solis, and frequently babysat for her.

The tip that led to the discovery came from a man who told police that the man had been online offering the toddler for sex.

Rios-Cobarrubias was taken into custody from the apartment. Solis had gone to work and was arrested later.

Officers confiscated computers in the apartment.

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