A runaway couple has been arrested for two years on suspicion of torturing a seven-year-old to death and sexually abusing and trafficking other children.
Edgar Salvador Cassian Garcia, 34, and his girlfriend, Araceli Medina, 38, were placed on the 15 Most Wanted US Marshals list in February, the first time a married couple has made the list.
The Marshall Service said Friday that Mexican officials had taken into custody the two, a week before the arraignment in Franklin County, Washington, of capital murder, four counts of child rape, and child molestation.
Five of their children, who were listed missing and endangered, were rescued during the arrest. US Marshals said the children were returned to the United States and placed in protective custody.
Investigators said they believed the couple had abused and trafficked their children.
Edgar Salvador Cassian Garcia, 34, and his girlfriend, Araceli Medina, 38, were elevated to the list of the 15 most wanted field marshals in February, the first time a couple has made the list.
Xian Garcia and Medina were taken into custody last week by Mexican officials, the Marshall Service said, after being charged in Franklin County, Washington, with one count of first degree murder, four counts of child rape, and child abuse. Two of Casian-Garcia’s daughters, ages eight and three, were found abandoned in Tijuana, Mexico, in late 2020
Two of Casian-Garcia’s daughters, ages eight and three, were found abandoned in Tijuana, Mexico, in late 2020.
The girls were placed in child protective custody in Mexico, but word of their recovery did not reach their hometown of Pasco, Washington, for another half year.
“The girls showed signs of severe physical and sexual abuse,” the US Marshals said. Subsequent forensic interviews conducted with the two girls determined that Casian-Garcia and Medina were most likely child abusers and traffickers.
According to police in Pasco, Washington, the remains of the girls’ seven-year-old brother were later discovered in early 2022 by two hikers in rural Washington. The authorities said they suspected the boy had been tortured to death and his body dumped. The remains were later identified as Casian-Garcia’s son, Edgar Jr.
The eight-year-old said she survived “unimaginable torture” and rape in her Washington home, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) said.
According to police in Pasco, Washington, the remains of the girls’ seven-year-old brother were found in early 2022 by two hikers in rural Benton County, Washington, about 20 minutes from Kazian Garcia and Washington’s city home. The authorities said they suspected the boy had been tortured to death and his body dumped.
The remains were later identified as Casian-Garcia’s son, Edgar Jr.
Kennewick, WA, Det.: “This is the worst case I’ve come across in nine years as a detective.” “What we’ve seen from this investigation is that they have no problem with child abuse — outright killing,” John Davis said in a statement in February 2022.
A reward of up to $25,000 has previously been announced for information leading to their arrest.
“The technological advances used by law enforcement, along with the help from our federal partners – in this case the US Marshals – have been instrumental,” Pasco Police Chief Ken Rosky told CNN, adding that the suspected killings and assaults were tragic for his community. . .
“I am grateful for the rest of the siblings who were rescued and are now safe.”
The couple crossed the border into Mexico in June 2021, which investigators believed was an attempted escape after the boy’s death.
The Marshall Department said they may have had five children, three with Medina’s children from a previous marriage and two children Cassian Garcia shares with another woman.
John Bischoff, of the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, said Friday he was grateful for saving the children.
The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children posted a letter on March 31
“The crimes with which Araceli Medina and Edgar Cassian García are accused are heinous,” he said.
The center said the couple were being held in Mexico and expected to be extradited to the United States to face criminal proceedings.
The US Marshals Service announced on Friday that the fugitives had been arrested in Mexico.
The Marshall Department said Friday that Mexican officials were taken into custody last week after being charged in Franklin County, Washington, with one count of aggravated murder and four counts of child rape and child abuse.
“We are incredibly grateful that all five missing children were safely rescued,” John Bischoff, vice president of the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, said Friday. “The charges against Araceli Medina and Edgar Cassian Garcia are outrageous and we commend their unwavering dedication to law enforcement.”