Mom accused of murder after 4-year-old son found dead

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) – A mother was booked in Clark County Jail on Thursday after providing “misleading” statements amid a search for her son who was later found dead near Everett, Wash on Thursday, according to authorities. She’s now officially been charged with murder for her son’s death.

Janet Garcia, 27, the mother of the missing 4-year-old Ariel Garcia, who was later found dead, was arrested for first-degree murder, second-degree murder, and first-degree child assault, the Everett Police Department said in a release. Janet was arrested in Vancouver. Police say Ariel’s body was found in Pierce County.

On Saturday, the Snohomish County Medical Examiner ruled Ariel’s death was “homicidal violence.” No other details were released.

“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.”

A report from Clark County Officer Tanya Johnson stated at 6:15 p.m. on Wednesday, March 27, she was dispatched to 811 Northeast 253rd Street in Ridgefield, Wash., where the mother — identified as Janet — was “unwanted.”

While the officer responded to the call, court documents said Everett police contacted Clark County, explaining Janet’s mother was concerned about her 4-year-old grandson’s whereabouts.

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Janet claimed she and her son, Ariel Garcia, stayed with a friend in Everett, Wash., court documents said, adding her friend came home around seven that morning to find a “substantial” amount of blood on the floor and Janet and her son were not in the apartment.

At the time the officer’s report was written, her son had not been found.

Officer Johnson said she saw blood on Janet’s shoes and speckled blood stains on her shirt while interviewing her.

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“She said that morning, her son fell and hit his head, she took him to the hospital in Everett, Washington but the wait was too long so she left, and dropped him with a friend in Seattle, Washington and took a bus to Ridgefield to get alcohol treatment,” the report stated.

The report goes on to say Janet’s vehicle was found in the parking lot of Three Peaks on 10th Ave. in Ridgefield.

“It’s just so sad. We feel awful,” said Colleen Macaulay, of Three Peaks Taphouse.

The officer stated video surveillance later showed the vehicle being parked at 3:40 p.m. and a person, who appeared to be Janet, walking north on NE 10th Ave — the surveillance footage can be viewed below.

Janet agreed to go to the Clark County Sheriff West Precinct where the officer claims Garcia gave officers an inconsistent and difficult-to-follow statement but maintained that her son fell and hit his head, according to court documents.

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Janet explained she took her son to Providence Hospital and reached out to a friend by obtaining her phone number on Facebook and called the friend to ask to bring her son there, court document said. Janet then told the officer she deleted her friend’s number after contacting her and deleted her Facebook account after dropping off her son at an unknown apartment in Seattle.

Janet then stated she drove to a bus station in Seattle and took a bus to Ridgefield.

“There is probable cause that Janet was giving false statements misleading law enforcement who is trying to locate a missing, injured child. She also stated no one knew where her vehicle was or had keys to drive it. She repeatedly said she left it in downtown Seattle. Physical and video evidence indicate the vehicle was driven to Ridgefield and there were no indications it was stolen,” the officer’s report states.

“I know I saw him at least once or twice and he always seemed happy,” said Aaron Richards, an Everett Resident. “We don’t have things like this happen, we don’t have abductions, kidnappings.”

Officials said the investigation is ongoing.

The booking comes after Ariel Garcia was found dead in Everett on Thursday and police say the case is being investigated as a homicide.

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