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News / Clark County News

Mother of missing Everett boy, later found dead, arrested in Ridgefield with blood on her clothes, say investigators

She gave conflicting statements to investigators, said Ariel Garcia, 4, fell off the bed

By Becca Robbins, Columbian staff reporter
Published: March 29, 2024, 3:42pm

The mother of a missing 4-year-old Everett boy who was later found dead was arrested Wednesday in Ridgefield after investigators said she had lied to them about her son’s whereabouts.

Janet E. Garcia, 27, of Everett appeared Thursday in Clark County District Court on suspicion of making false statements to a public servant.

On Friday, a judge signed an order dismissing the allegation. The order states that Garcia is being transferred to Snohomish County for investigation of more serious felony charges there.

Garcia remained in the Clark County Jail on Friday afternoon, according to jail records.

Her son, Ariel Garcia, was last seen at 7 a.m. Wednesday at an apartment in Everett, according to the Everett Police Department. An Amber Alert was issued in his disappearance about 6 p.m. Thursday, about the same time police located the boy’s body in an apartment near Everett, according to The Seattle Times.

The Snohomish County Medical Examiner’s Office will confirm identity and determine the cause and manner of death, police said. The family has been notified.

The Seattle Times reported Friday that Ariel’s grandmother had won temporary emergency guardianship of him the day before he went missing, stating his mother was using drugs and unable to care for him and his 7-year-old brother.

Clark County sheriff’s detectives responded at 6:15 p.m. Wednesday to 811 N.E. 235th St. in Ridgefield for reports of an unwanted person. The caller told dispatchers Janet Garcia was there but was not welcome, according to a probable cause affidavit.

Police in Everett had contacted Clark County deputies about their investigation into the boy’s disappearance. Investigators in Everett said Garcia and her son had stayed with a friend, but when the friend came home Wednesday morning, the mother and son were gone and there was a large amount of blood on the floor, court records state.

When deputies contacted Garcia, her son had not yet been found, the affidavit states.

Deputies said they saw blood on Garcia’s shoes and shirt. They said she told them her son had fallen off a bed and hit his head that morning. She took him to a hospital in Everett, she said, but the wait was too long, so they left. She said she dropped off her son with a friend and took a bus to Ridgefield for alcohol treatment, according to the affidavit.

While deputies were interviewing Garcia, her car was found in the parking lot of 3 Peaks Taphouse, 24415 N.E. 10th Ave. in Ridgefield, just south of the 235th Street house. Security video from the taphouse shows the vehicle pulling into the lot about 3:40 p.m. Wednesday. After a few minutes, a woman who appears to be Garcia exits the car and walks north on 10th Avenue, court records state.

Investigators said Garcia agreed to be interviewed further at the sheriff’s office’s west precinct. There, deputies said, she gave conflicting accounts of her actions that day, but she continued to claim her son had fallen and hit his head, the affidavit states.

She told deputies that after she dropped off her son at her friend’s apartment, she deleted the friend’s phone number and her own Facebook account. She again said she took a bus from a station in downtown Seattle to Ridgefield, but she couldn’t describe anywhere she went or how she knew where to go, according to the affidavit.

Deputies said that despite Garcia’s claims she had left her car in downtown Seattle, there’s no indication anyone other than Garcia drove it to Ridgefield, court records state.

Anyone with information about the case should call 911, submit tips to 425-257-8450 or email tips@everettwa.gov.