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Wash. mom charged with murder after 4-year-old son’s body found along highway

Wash. mom charged with murder after body of 4-year-old son is found near I-5
Everett Police Department
Ariel Garcia, 4, was found dead Thursday outside Everett after he went missing Wednesday morning.

A Washington woman has been after the body of her young son was found along a highway earlier this week, authorities said Friday.

, 27, was booked into Snohomish County Jail Friday night on charges of first-degree murder, second-degree murder and first-degree assault of a child, the Everett Police Department said in a news release.

The boy, 4-year-old Ariel Garcia, was reported missing “under suspicious circumstances” on Wednesday.

Washington State Troopers issued an , or EMPA, on Thursday. Later that day, Everett Police were notified that the body of a child had been found along Interstate 5 in Pierce County.

The young victim was later positively identified as Ariel.

“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,” Everett Mayor Cassie Franklin said in a statement Friday.

Garcia was taken into custody by Clark County Sheriff deputies for making false statements “within a few hours of Ariel being reported missing,” authorities said. Her vehicle was impounded that same day.

Court documents indicate Garcia told investigators her son fell out of a bed and hit his head when the two were just north of Seattle, local television station KOIN reported.

The friend came home early in the morning to find a “substantial” amount of blood on the floor and both mother and son gone, the friend told investigators.

During questioning, Garcia told detectives she’d taken Ariel to a hospital, but didn’t stay because the “wait was too long.” She then said she dropped him off at a friend’s apartment in Seattle before taking a bus to Ridgefield , KGV8 reported.

She claimed she left her car in Seattle and took the bus south, but her car was later found parked outside a bar in Ridgefield.

Surveillance video appears to show a person matching her appearance parking the car and walking north, police said.

Garcia was initially arrested for making false and misleading statements to investigators in Clark County. However, those charges were later dropped so she could face the murder charges in Snohomish County.

“This is not the outcome we had hoped for,” Everett Chief of Police John DeRousse, said Friday. “Our and we will do everything we can to ensure there is justice for this young boy.”

The Snohomish County Medical Examiner now has custody and will determine the cause and manner of death.

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