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Washington Mother Stabbed Her 4-Year-Old Son 41 Times Before Dumping His Body on Side of Highway: Police

Mother Accused of Stabbing Son 41 Times Before Leaving Body on Highway
Source: Unsplash; Everett Police Department

Ariel Garcia's body was found on the side of the highway in Washington after being reported missing the day before, authorities said.

Apr. 25 2024, Published 10:04 a.m. ET

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A mother in Washington has been charged with murder after she allegedly stabbed her 4-year-old son approximately 41 times before dumping his body on the side of a highway, according to authorities.

Around 4 p.m. on March 27, the grandmother of 4-year-old Ariel Garcia reported him missing under “suspicious circumstances,” according to an arrest affidavit obtained by KOMO.

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The report states the grandmother called police after she found a large amount of blood in her apartment where Ariel and his mother, her daughter, 27-year-old Janet Garcia, were staying.

Around 6 p.m. on March 28, cops found Ariel’s body along I-5 in the Tacoma area. On March 29, Janet Garcia was arrested after she trespassed at a group home, according to the affidavit.

Officials said they tracked movements on the suspect's cell phone, which led them to the discovery of her son Ariel’s body.

According to police, Janet Garcia allegedly told police that Ariel had fallen and hit his head that morning and she took him to the hospital, but she claimed, however, the wait was “too long so she left.” She said she then dropped the boy off at a home in Seattle while she boarded a bus.

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Officials said her story was inconsistent and investigators noticed she had blood on her shirt and shoes, the affidavit states.

According to KOMO, Ariel was also at the center of a custody dispute between his mother and grandmother. Court records state Ariel’s grandmother filed a petition for guardianship two days before he went missing.


In an affidavit, his grandmother said, “I love my grandson, and I want to protect him from whatever his mom is capable of while she is on drugs. He trusts me and feels safe with me. Since I have cared for Ariel all these years, I am already aware of his needs.”

The grandmother said her daughter was “not capable of parenting” while on drugs and she had been exhibiting “very violent and unpredictable” behavior. Janet Garcia, the affidavit claims, also allegedly left Ariel and another child alone so she could go to the bar and drink alcohol.

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On April 19, Janet Garcia was charged with first-degree murder in connection with the death of her son.

The affidavit states investigators initially identified 16 “sharp force wounds” on the victim, but an autopsy determined there were 41 and he died of “homicidal violence.”

At Janet Garcia’s arraignment on April 22, prosecutors argued the number of stab wounds showed the attack was “prolonged.”

Meanwhile, defense attorney Kathryn Fraser said the killing was not premeditated but rather “a tragic circumstance of the failure of meaningful access to addiction treatment and mental health resources.”

Garcia pleaded not guilty to the charges. She was booked into the Snohomish County Jail and was being held on a $3 million bond.


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