A 35-year-old Pasco man made his first appearance in court Friday afternoon to face accusations that he brutally abused his children until one of them died.
Edgar Casian-Garcia appeared by video link from the Franklin County jail Friday nearly seven months after he and his girlfriend were caught in Mexico.
Prosecutors have filed numerous charges against the couple, including aggravated first-degree murder which carries a mandatory life sentence in prison.
He’s also charged with two counts of first-degree child rape and three counts of first-degree assault of a child.
Deputy Prosecutor Maureen Astley asked that he be held without bail. She pointed to the seriousness of the charges and Casian-Garcia’s more than a year on the run from charges.
Defense attorney Michael Nguyen reserved asking for any lower bail until a later time.
Judge Sam Swanberg agreed to the no-bail hold.
Casian-Garcia is expected back in court in a week to enter a plea to the charges.
He and his girlfriend Araceli Medina are accused of a horrifying pattern abuse of Edgar Casian, 8, and his two sisters. Investigators say their heads were held underwater, they were cut with razor blades and scalding water was poured on one of them.
While they were living together, the couple tied up the children and left them in the bathroom, say investigators.
One time, in about October 2020, they tied up Edgar, laid him in the shower, put a surgical mask over his face, pointed the shower head at the mask, turned on the water and left, according to court documents.
When they returned, the boy was dead. But police wouldn’t know he was missing until June 2021.
In November 2020, his sisters, ages 9 and 3 at the time, had showed up alone in Tijuana, Mexico. The older girl was unable to walk, eat or use the restroom without help.
Arrest warrants were issued for the couple in June 2021 after Pasco police finally learned about the girls. The charges were upgraded in February 2022 when Edgar’s body was discovered in a field near South Finley Road and Highway 397.
The couple, who were on the U.S. Marshals most wanted list, were arrested in Mexico in March 2023.
Median is continuing to be fight extradition from Mexico.
Murder and abuse
Casian’s mother Maria Quintero told the Herald in June 2021 that she called police and Washington state Child Protective Services several times after her ex-boyfriend took custody of their son and two daughters.
The three children had spent most of their lives with their paternal grandmother, according to court documents. Casian-Garcia and Medina took them in May 2020.
When the kids stopped attending online classes, a Barbara McClintock Elementary School teacher called CPS.
They were last seen in person when a Pasco police officer responded to a complaint about a no-contact order violation and vandalism at their Road 68 apartment. The children can be seen in the body camera footage.
Casian-Garcia told school officials that the children had moved to Vancouver, Wash., in September 2020, and then the next month the couple moved into a Pasco apartment, where the kids were reportedly abused.
A couple days after Edgar died in the shower, Casian-Garcia and Medina took the girls to Mexico and left them by the side of the road before returning to Pasco, say investigators.
After the girls showed up in Mexico, police went to Casian-Garcia and Medina’s apartment and the couple told them that the children no longer lived with them and had been taken by Child Protective Services.
But state officials said they had never taken the children from the apartment.
The girls have since been returned to the United States.