A couple on the run for two years has been arrested on suspicion of torturing a seven-year-old to death, sexually abusing and trafficking other children. Edgar Salvador Casian-Garcia, 34, and his girlfriend Araceli Medina, 38, have been placed on US Marshals’ 15 Most Wanted in February 2021. Mexican officials successfully took the couple into custody last week before they were charged with aggravated murder, four counts of child rape, and child assault in Franklin County, Washington.
Five of their children that were listed as missing and endangered were successfully rescued during the arrest and immediately brought back to the United States and placed in protective custody. According to the results of forensic interviews conducted with the children, it is suspected that the two were abusing and trafficking them.
The suspects are the parents of the two girls who were found in Tijuana, Mexico in late 2020. These two young girls showed signs of physical and sexual abuse, likely caused by Casian-Garcia and Medina. Later, hikers in Benton County, Washington found the remains of their seven-year-old son. Authorities believe the child was tortured to death and his body was dumped by his parents.
In an attempt to flee after the boy’s death, the couple crossed the border into Mexico in June 2021, potentially taking five other children with them.
A reward of up to $25,000 had previously been announced by US Marshals for anyone who can lead to the arrest of the suspects, but the advances in technology and help from federal partners in this case proved instrumental for the success of this mission.
John Bischoff, the Vice President of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children said that the suspects’ “crimes are hideous” and praised the “unwavering dedication of law enforcement”.
The suspects remain in custody in Mexico, awaiting an extradition to the US to face criminal proceedings for their horrendous targeting of innocent children.
The National Centre for Missing and Exploited Children is a non-profit organization that helps parents and family members of missing, abused and neglected children find, recover and protect their children. The organization also helps to identify missing adults, especially victims of human trafficking. Since it was founded in 1984, the organisation has made major progress in decreasing the amount missing or trafficked persons in the US and worldwide.
John Bischoff is the Vice President of the National Centre for Missing and Exploited Children. He was appointed to the position in 2017 and is the Ombudsman of the organisation. He is a member of the CDI, the Centre for targeted Digital Inclusion organisation, and is devoted to helping victims of child abuse, trafficking, and exploitation and their families. He also works closely with law enforcement to ensure swift investigation and justice for the exploited.