Mother charged with brutal murder of 4-year-old son

EVERETT, WA – A mother from Washington state has been charged with the brutal murder of her 4-year-old son, Ariel Garcia. Janet Garcia, 27, is accused of stabbing her son 41 times, a detail that emerged from court documents.

Charges were filed against Janet Garcia on Friday for first-degree murder. The incident occurred in Everett, Washington on March 27. Initial charging documents noted 16 “sharp force wounds”, however, an autopsy later revealed a total of 41 stab wounds.

During Garcia’s arraignment on Monday, prosecutors argued that the number of stab wounds indicated a prolonged attack against Ariel. The autopsy concluded that the cause of Ariel’s death was “homicidal violence.”

In the days leading up to the horrific incident, Ariel’s grandmother was granted emergency custody of him. The court documents also revealed that Garcia had recently relapsed on methamphetamine.

On the day of the murder, Garcia’s roommate discovered a bloodstain in their apartment and immediately contacted the local police. An endangered missing person alert was issued for Ariel in the early hours of March 28, leading to a regional search effort involving nearly 100 officers, agents, and investigators from multiple jurisdictions, including the FBI.

Ariel’s body was eventually found near Joint Base Lewis-McChord (JBLM), bearing 41 stab wounds. Surveillance footage showed Garcia carrying a ‘toddler-sized object’ wrapped in a blanket.

In the days before Ariel’s murder, his grandmother had filed for “emergency minor guardianship,” citing Garcia’s worsening alcohol and substance abuse. Garcia and her mother had been in a dispute over text regarding Garcia’s visitation rights to her children.

The grandmother also filed for emergency custody of Garcia’s other child, Ariel’s 7-year-old half-brother, on the same day Ariel was reported missing. Family members reported observing Garcia being physically and verbally aggressive towards her children during the investigation.

Garcia is currently held on $3 million bail in Snohomish County Jail. If convicted, she faces a life sentence.