Judge sets bail for Everett mother accused of killing 4-year-old son at $5 million

EVERETT, Wash. — A Snohomish County judge has set bail for an Everett mother, who has been accused of killing and dumping her 4-year-old son’s body in Pierce County, at $5 million.

Janet Garcia, the mother of Ariel Garcia, whose body was found in Lakewood near I-5, appeared in Court in Everett Monday at 1 p.m.

Corinne Kleine, a deputy prosecutor with the Snohomish County Prosecutor’s Office, asked the judge to set Garcia’s bond at $5 million at the beginning of the hearing.

However, the defense attorney, Maxwell Mensinger, argued for a $1 million bail.

He said his client had no prior criminal convictions before the hearing and argued that Garcia had been at a rehab center in Clark County, which aligned with her statement she shared to authorities, and she was cooperating with law enforcement, Mensinger added.

Following Mensinger’s statement, Commissioner Jennifer Millett shared she thought differently.

She explained that Garcia might escape the area and was a possible threat to neighbors and witnesses based on the allegations written in the court documents.

Millett set Garcia’s bail at $5 million.

Garcia faces first-degree and second-degree murder and first-degree assault of a child.

Meanwhile, on Vesper Drive, near the crime scene, a makeshift memorial was spotted near a light pole.

“That’s tragic. Four years old. He didn’t have time to live his life really. Who would think that’s okay?” Chesnee Mitchell, a neighbor, asked.

“I am hoping it (court hearing) brings more at ease to the community as well as justice for that poor boy. I am hoping that we can do better at preventing these things from happening, especially for our younger generations,” she added. “I am hoping it starts bringing some healing to the community and having the community coming together to what we can do more as a community to try to prevent these things in the future as well. It is up to authorities, but as a community, we have a lot of power in what we can do to help.”

Dorthy Crossman, a neighbor who has lived in the area since 1999, described the details within the court documents as, “It’s a sick detail of what happened. It’s horrible. But it feels good there may be some justice for this little boy.”

She added, “It’s really sad. It’s terrible that’s happening, someone’s dying across the street from you and you don’t know it.”


Court documents indicated the grandmother of four-year-old Ariel Garcia, whose body was found, won emergency guardianship of him the day before he went missing.

Garcia’s mother is identified as Janet Ernestine Garcia, officials wrote.

The grandmother, Maria Angelica Garcia, won emergency guardianship of Garcia and his seven-year-old brother on Tuesday after she had reported that Janet Garcia was using drugs.

Court documents indicated Court Commissioner Nicole Wagner granted the emergency order, issued a restraining order and set a court hearing for Friday.

Maria Garcia said her daughter’s behavior is “very violent and unpredictable.”


Within the court documents, detectives said Garcia was temporarily staying inside an apartment on Vesper Drive in Everett last week with her son.

Ariel Garcia was later reported missing Wednesday after a woman who lives in the apartment had seen a large amount of blood on the carpet.

Janet was nowhere to be found.

Detectives later found Garcia with blood on her shirt and shoes at a rehab center in Ridgefield.

When asked about the blood stains found on the carpet, Garcia told detectives her son had fallen and hit his head, the court document wrote.

But her answers were inconsistent, detectives said.

Authorities also tracked Garcia’s cellphone which showed her driving in Lakewood on I-5, near 47th Avenue Southwest.

When authorities arrived to the scene, they found the little boy’s body near the interstate in an area filled with sticker bushes, investigators said.

The Snohomish County Medical Examiner’s Office uncovered at least 41 stab wounds on the boy’s body, the court documents said, along with defensive wounds on his arm.

However, as of Monday afternoon, the cause of death has not been determined.

Garcia is facing first-degree and second-degree murder and first-degree assault.

Investigators believe the custody battle over Ariel Garcia may be a possible motive behind the boy’s death.

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