On Friday, March 31st, the U.S. Marshal Service announced the rescue of five children missing from Washington state since 2021 and the arrests of two “15 Most Wanted” fugitives in connection with their disappearances.
Edgar Salvador Casian-Garcia, 34, and his girlfriend, Araceli Medina, 38, are charged with murdering a child, as well as four counts of first-degree rape and three counts of first-degree assault of a child.
U.S. Marshals, with help from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC), recovered their five surviving children — including their infant son together and Medina’s four biological children — in Mexico and brought them back to the United States.
“We are so thankful that all five missing children have been rescued safely,” John Bischoff, who oversees the Missing Children Division at NCMEC, said in a Friday statement. “The crimes that Araceli Medina and Edgar Casian-Garcia are charged with are heinous and we commend the unwavering dedication of law enforcement. This successful rescue is a testament to the critical importance of collaboration and community involvement in safeguarding our most vulnerable population.”
The years-long, international search for Casian-Garcia and Medina began in 2021, when Mexican officials located his two daughters, ages 3 and 8, abandoned at a gas station in Tijuana, Baja California, Mexico, with “severe physical and sexual abuse,” according to the NCMEC.
The two girls were taken into child protective custody in Mexico, but the word of their recovery did not reach their hometown of Pasco, Washington, until half a year later. The 8-year-old girl said she survived “unimaginable torture” and rape at her Washington home, the agency reported.
Authorities searched for months without leads until February 2022, when hikers discovered human remains in rural Benton County, Washington, about 20 minutes from Casian-Garcia and Medina’s Washington home. The remains were later identified as Casian-Garcia’s son, Edgar Jr.
The couple gave their youngest child the same name as Casian-Garcia’s murdered son.
“This is the worst case I’ve come across in nine years as a detective,” Kennewick, Washington, Det. Jon Davis said in a February 2022 statement. “What we’ve seen from this investigation, they have no problem hurting children – to outright murder.”
Fugitives on the USMS “15 Most Wanted” list are generally considered the “worst of the worst,” including murderers, child abusers, drug kingpins, and organized criminals, according to NCMEC.