Rialto, California – A couple was taken into custody after five children complained to authorities that they had been mistreated and abused by their aunt and uncle, according to the Rialto Police Department. The children are from Barstow, and the abuse is said to have happened at the house of their relatives in Rialto.
According to a press statement issued by the Rialto Police Department, the alleged abuse was discovered by an investigation conducted by the Barstow Police Department in August 2021, and they informed their colleagues from Rialto Police of the findings of the investigation in January.
The five children in question lived with their uncle and aunt from 2017 to 2021 in the 100 block of East Jackson Street in Rialto and then moved back to Barstow to live with other relatives. The investigation was launched when the relative reported the abuse to the Barstow Police Department after the children informed him they were abused throughout the time they resided with their aunt and uncle. The abuse included branding, strangulation, and being shot with pellet guns.
The children’s ages ranged from 11 to 17, and their statements were confirmed by the scars all over their bodies and other physical evidence.
Their aunt, the 26-year-old Jessica Salas-Ruiz, and their uncle, the 36-year-old Fernando Inzunza, were taken into custody at the West Valley Detention Center Wednesday on multiple charges, including corporal punishment of a child.
Salas-Ruiz and Inzunza are currently being held on $750,000 bail each.
The investigation remains open and anyone with information about the couple or the children is asked to contact Lt. James Mills at 909-820-2632.