On June 5, 2013, at 4 PM, 30-year-old Sonia Rios of Paulden was arrested and booked into the Camp Verde Detention Center on 9 counts of Child Abuse and Neglect. The investigation linked Rios to abuse involving 4 of her 6 children ages infant to 9 years. The ongoing abuse took place at 2 locations in the 25000 block of Maple Lane, Paulden, and a residence in Ashfork. She remains in-custody on a $250,000 bond.
Detectives, working with Children's Protective Services (CPS) Investigators out of Flagstaff, have been conducting an extensive investigation in recent weeks regarding Rios' abusive behavior with her children. Detectives learned that on or about September 29, 2012, Rios struck her 2-year-old son on the back, chest, and ankles with a piece of garden hose and a flyswatter. The abuse left bruises and cuts later witnessed by a relative and a neighbor. This child was also very malnourished. Siblings told detectives the lack of feedings was an intentional act by their mother. As a result, the siblings had been secretly bringing home food from school to feed the 2-year-old. Detectives were also told Rios used spicy sauce in the 2-year-olds food so he would not eat as much and thus reduce the number of diaper changes she would have to make.
Rios has already had parental rights severed from one of her children who was born substance exposed due to her illicit narcotics use during pregnancy. This child had been removed from the home in December of 2012 by deputies as a live saving measure. During this current investigation, evidence indicated the next 2 youngest children were also born substance exposed. All 3 children require special medical attention due to the exposure and dependency.
Rios' 9 and 11-year-old children also reported extensive and ongoing abuse during recent months. They reported 'beatings' involving large metal spoons, a belt, and a piece of garden hose. The oldest child reports seeing numerous marks on the back of her 9-year-old brother resulting from Rios' use of the garden hose.
During previous investigations involving fraud and abuse cases, Rios made attempts to elude authorities to avoid arrest. On June 5, detectives learned she had an appointment at a medical clinic in Prescott Valley and upon her arrival, she was arrested.
All six of Rios' children are in CPS custody and/or have been adopted into safe, caring home environments.
A thank you from CPS - The lead detective recently received a note from CPS personnel in Flagstaff which reads, "Thank you for all of the hard work you and your department have done on this case. The effort that you have put into this case is going to make a world of difference for these kids."
If anyone has additional information regarding Rios in light of these incidents or abuse events that may not have been previously reported, please call YCSO at 928-771-3260. Detective Keith Levin is the lead investigator. Callers may also contact Yavapai Silent Witness at 1800-932-3232 and report information anonymously.
Citizens can contact the Yavapai County Sheriff's Office with information or questions at 928-771-3260 or the YCSO website: www.ycsoaz.gov