Mother Arrested for Murdering Her 4-Year-Old Child

March 29, 2024

Police Blotter

4-year-old Ariel Garcia was missing on March 27th then found dead on the 28th

Today, the Everett Police Department made an arrest in the death of local, missing 4-year-old, Ariel Garcia. Members of the department’s Violent Crime Unit arrested Janet Garcia, Ariel’s mother, in Vancouver, Wash. for Murder in the First Degree, Murder in the Second Degree and Assault of a Child in the First Degree, with the assistance of the Clark County Sheriff’s Office (CCSO). Janet was a person of interest and her whereabouts were known early on in the investigation. She will be booked into the Snohomish County Jail this evening.

Ariel’s grandmother had won temporary emergency guardianship of him on Tuesday, just a day before Ariel went missing, stating his mother was using drugs and unable to care for him and his 7-year-old brother. She also stated that if Janet found out about the temporary guardianship: “she may harm me or try to run away with Ariel and harm him in the process.”

Janet Garcia was placed in custody by CCSO for making false and misleading statements within a few hours of Ariel being reported missing on Wednesday, March 27, 2024. Her vehicle was impounded by CCSO the same day.

The Clark County newspaper reported that when officers contacted Janet Garcia, they noticed blood on her shirt and shoes. Janet Garcia told investigators her son fell off the bed and hit his head earlier that day. She claimed she tried taking him to a hospital in Everett, but the wait was too long. She also claimed she dropped off her son at a friend’s apartment and accidentally deleted the friend’s number. As for the missing car, she claimed she left her car in Seattle and took a bus from there to Ridgefield for alcohol abuse treatment.

At approximately, 5:55 p.m. on Thursday, March 28, 2024, Everett Police were notified that a body had been located along I-5 in Pierce County. EPD Detectives responded to the location and were able to confirm the deceased is Ariel Garcia. The family has been notified. The Snohomish County Medical Examiner now has custody and will determine the cause and manner of death.

“I am completely heartbroken for the family and friends of Ariel Garcia and they will remain in my thoughts as they grieve this unbelievably tragic loss,” said Everett Mayor Cassie Franklin. “I want to commend our Everett Police Department leadership, the many hard-working men and women that make up our team and our law enforcement partners throughout the region for all your work investigating this case. I also want to thank our media partners and the public for their help disseminating information and sharing tips – it really does make a difference.”

The child was reported missing under suspicious circumstances by a relative at approximately 4:00 p.m. on Wednesday, March 27. The department launched an extensive, regional search effort involving near one hundred officers, agents and investigators from multiple jurisdictions including the FBI. Based on the initial investigation, investigators determined the last time the child was seen was Wednesday morning.

On Thursday, an Endangered Missing Persons Advisory, a more locally focused alert, was issued by Washington State Patrol. This case did not meet the criteria for an AMBER Alert, which has Federally set requirements. In addition, updates and requests for tips were shared with local media and the public to amplify the message throughout the region.

“On behalf of the Everett Police Department, I want to share our condolences with the loved ones of young Ariel Garcia. This is not the outcome we had hoped for,” said Everett Chief of Police John DeRousse. “I want to thank all our partners that jumped into action to support this search effort. Our investigation will continue and we will do everything we can to ensure there is justice for this young boy.”

Major Crimes detectives from the Everett Police Department are actively involved in this case and will continue to investigate.

Anyone with information about this incident is asked to call the Everett Police Department TIP LINE at (425) 257-8450 or

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