WSP explains why there was no Amber Alert for 4-year-old Ariel Garcia

We’re learning more about law enforcement efforts that led to the tragic discovery of the body of a missing 4-year-old Everett boy Wednesday.

Ariel Garcia’s body was found Thursday along I-5 near Lakewood.

His mother, Janet Garcia, was arrested in connection with his death. She was booked into the Snohomish County Jail Friday evening. for murder and assault on a child.

Just minutes before the body was found, an endangered missing person alert was sent to phones across Western Washington.

“This is an alert for anyone who, for whatever reason, age, physical or mental abilities, is not able to take care of themselves,” said Chris Loftis, head of the public information to the Washington State Patrol.

Ariel was reported missing “under suspicious circumstances” by Everett police on Thursday.

Many people wonder why an Amber Alert wasn’t sent instead.

Loftis told KIRO 7 this specific case did not meet the requirements.

“At this stage, the investigation has not demonstrated that there was a threat of kidnapping and that the threshold for kidnapping had been met,” he said.

He said Orange alerts have four federal requirements:

-Child aged 17 or under

-Reasonable belief that a kidnapping has occurred

-The child is in imminent danger of serious bodily harm or death

-Descriptive information such as license plate or suspect description

In this case, Loftis said police could not confirm that Ariel had been kidnapped.

“One of the reasons they’re effective is because they’re used so rarely and people really pay attention to them,” he said.

Whether it’s an Amber Alert or an endangered missing person alert, he says both are usually very effective.

Since January 2023, Loftis tells us that seven Amber Alerts have been sent in Washington state. Every case has been cured.

Another question was why the alert was sent so late. He alerted the phones just minutes before Ariel’s body was…

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