PASCO — The father and stepmother of a missing 8-year-old Pasco boy are now charged with torturing his 9-year-old sister in their Tri-Cities apartment.
Arrest warrants have been issued for Edgar Casian-Garcia, 32, and Araceli Medina, 37, on felony charges of first-degree assault of a child. Bail has been set at $500,000 for each.
They have not been seen since the 9-year-old and her 3-year-old sister were found in Mexico two months ago and were initially questioned by police.
Their dad and stepmom now are accused of a pattern of abuse that led the 9-year-old girl and her 3-year-old sister to flee from a hotel room in Tijuana, Mexico, according to a Pasco police report.
The girls later told Mexican and U.S. authorities they had been sexually trafficked and physically abused.
When the girls were found alone in May by Mexican authorities, the older girl was in a wheelchair and wasn't able to eat, walk or use the restroom by herself. Court documents filed in Franklin County Superior Court claim she had boiling water poured on her legs when she was in Pasco.
The discovery led Pasco police to wonder what happened to Edgar Casian-Garcia's son, also named Edgar Casian.
The last time authorities saw the boy was in September 2020 when their mom Maria Quintero asked them to check on the kids.
The girls were seen during a visit the next month, Quintero told the Herald.
The father's mother was caring for the kids in the Tri-Cities after Quintero was arrested, jailed and eventually deported to Mexico for being an undocumented immigrant.
Even after their mother returned to the U.S. in 2019, her children stayed with their grandmother.
Before the COVID pandemic, Quintero traveled from California to Portland to see her kids and their grandmother for visits. The last time she saw them was in February 2020.
The following month, the children's father demanded custody of the kids from their grandmother and she handed them over, said their mom, Quintero.
While she called police and Washington state Child Protective Services to have them checked on, both agencies said they couldn't take the kids from their dad.
Pasco police are continuing to search for the boy, said Pasco police Sgt. Rigo Pruneda.
Tied up in the bathroom
The 9-year-old girl told police that while she was living in the Chapel Hill Boulevard apartment in Pasco with her father and stepmother in fall 2020, they tied her up in the bathroom on several occasions, according to documents filed in Franklin County Superior Court.
While she was confined to the bathroom, they poured boiling water on her, burning her legs and hands, said the documents. They also forced her face under water, say investigators.
A medical exam after she was found in Mexico showed multiple large scars and patches of scars that are consistent with child abuse, said officials.
"The doctor described some as being consistent with liquid burns, others more consistent with lacerations and others consistent with whipping or hitting with a physical object," according to court records
Mexican child welfare authorities and the U.S. Consulate said the girls were sexually trafficked and assaulted after being taken to Mexico by their father and stepmother, according to court records.
After the girls were found in May 2021 in Mexico, police interviewed their dad and stepmother in Pasco. They claimed the girls had been taken by state Child Protective Services in September or October, according to court records.
The girls' mother, Quintero, told police she believes her ex-husband and Medina took the kids to Tijuana and left them there because they were convinced they were not his children.
Brother still missing
Authorities are continuing to look for Edgar Casian. Pasco police hope someone in the community has seen him.
Edgar is 4-foot and weighs 60 pounds, according to the Center of Missing and Exploited Children. He has black hair and brown eyes.
He may still be in the Tri-Cities area or may have traveled outside of Washington state or the U.S., police said.
Anyone with information is asked to call 911, the non-emergency dispatch line at 509-628-0333 or email Detective Jon Davis at email@example.com. The case number is 21-15039.