MERIDIAN -- A Twin Falls couple is behind bars after investigators say their baby was found covered in bruises.
Rudy A. Garcia and Angelica M. Najera were already under investigation for stealing tools from a Meridian construction site when detectives found out about the child abuse.
Both are now facing felony charges of injury to child with an infliction of great bodily injury enhancement for injuring the 1-year-old boy. Detectives say he had been severely beaten several times since last fall.
Garcia is also facing charges of grand theft and burglary in connection to the tool thefts.
The Ada County Sheriff's Office began investigating Feb. 1 after learning that $1,400 worth of power tools had been stolen from contractors working on a construction site in the 7300 block of Linder Road. Garcia - who worked at the site - and Najera were linked to the investigation three days later, after detectives say they found evidence Garcia stole the tools and Najera tried to sell them.
Investigators found Najera at the site Feb. 4 and talked to her about the thefts. The sheriff's office says that's when they learned the couple's son was being abused. Detectives found Garcia and the couple's three children at a hotel on South Progress Avenue later that day.
According to detectives, the 1-year-old had severe bruising all over his body. He was immediately taken to the hospital for treatment.
The baby and the two other children - both preschoolers - were taken into the custody of the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare.
Investigators say the couple's bags were packed and they appeared to be on the verge of going back to Twin Falls, even though they had already paid for one more day in the hotel.
Garcia was arrested on the grand theft and burglary charges, and booked into the jail. He and Najera were indicted on felony injury to a child charges Feb. 14. The sheriff's office says Garcia was served with the new charges in jail, while Najera was arrested Feb. 17.
Both parents are due in court March 7.
If convicted of felony injury to a child with the enhanced charge of infliction of great bodily injury, Garcia and Najera could face up to 30 years in prison.
If you suspect a child is being abused or neglected in the Treasure Valley, call the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare's abuse hotline 208-334-KIDS (5437.)
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