PAULDEN, Ariz. -- A Yavapai County woman was arrested on nine counts of child abuse and neglect following a lengthy investigation involving the Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office and Child Protective Services.
According to YCSO, 30-year-old Paulden resident Sonia Rios is accused of abusing four of her six children over the past several months.
Last September, Rios reportedly struck her 2-year-old son on the back, chest, and ankles with a piece of garden hose and a flyswatter. The child suffered bruises and cuts that were seen by a relative and a neighbor.
During the investigation, the 2-year-old’s siblings told detectives that Rios would intentionally starve her child, forcing them to sneak home food from school to feed their brother.
YCSO said detectives also learned that Rios would put spicy sauce in the 2-year-old’s food so that he would eat less, thus reducing the number of times she would have to change his diaper.
In December, Rios lost the parental rights to one of her children because the child was born substance exposed due to Rios’ drug use during her pregnancy.
According to YCSO, it was also learned that Rios’ next two youngest children were also born substance exposed.
All three children require special medical attention due to their exposure and dependency.
Rios’ 9-year-old son and 11-year-old son also told investigators that Rios had been abusing them with large metal spoons, a belt, and a piece of garden hose.
YCSO said on previous occasions Rios had been able to avoid authorities and elude arrest.
On Wednesday, detectives learned that Rios had an appointment at a medical clinic in Prescott Valley and placed her under arrest when she arrived.
All six of Rios’ children are now either in CPS custody or have been adopted into safe environments.
Rios is being held on $250,000 bond.
Anyone with any further information about Rios is asked to call YCSO at 928-771-3260 or Yavapai Silent Witness at 1-800-932-3232.