Everett boy's grandmother won emergency guardianship before his death


Court documents in Snohomish County show the grandmother of a 4-year-old boy found dead in Everett had won emergency guardianship of him the day before he went missing after convincing a judge his mother was a threat and unable to care for him.

Meantime, the mother of Ariel Garcia — identified in court documents as Janet Ernestine Garcia — was arrested Thursday in Clark County for investigation of misdemeanor charges of making a false statement and was being held on $1,000 bond. Clark County reported recovering a vehicle that police had been looking for.

Ariel Garcia was reported missing Wednesday morning and his body was found Thursday night.

His grandmother, Maria Angelica Garcia, won emergency guardianship of Ariel and his 7-year-old brother on Tuesday after filing an affidavit stating that Janet Garcia was using drugs and was unable to care for the boys.

"The mother is a threat to the minor," she wrote in a petition for "emergency minor guardianship" filed with the court. "She has a long history of drug and alcohol abuse that has worsened in the last few weeks."

Court Commissioner Nicole Wagner granted the emergency order, issued a restraining order and set a hearing for Friday. It is not clear from the docket whether Janet Garcia had been served with the documents.

Maria Angelica Garcia described her daughter's behavior as "very violent and unpredictable," and said that she's been forced to step in before. "He becomes scared of her condition and does not want to be around her anymore."

The petition states that the child's mother "is not mentally, physically, emotionally or financially stable enough to care for Ariel," adding that the previous week she had left the boy with a 7-year-old for an entire day.

The child was last seen around 7 a.m. Wednesday in an apartment in the 4800 block of Vesper Drive. Everett police said the child left with a family member, but did not say who.

Shortly before 6 p.m. Thursday, the department was notified that a body matching Ariel Garcia's description was found outside Everett. Precisely where police did not make clear. The Snohomish County medical examiner will confirm the identity and cause of death, police said in a news release.

An extensive, regional search involving the FBI began for the boy after he went missing Wednesday. An endangered missing person alert was sent around 6 p.m. Thursday — around the time Ariel Garcia's body was found.