Five children were rescued after the arrest of their parents in Mexico, who have been on the U.S. Marshals’ Most Wanted List after being on the run for almost two years.
Edgar Salvador Casian-Garcia, 34, and his girlfriend, Araceli Medina, 38, are charged with murder as well as multiple child sex abuse charges in Franklin County, Washington, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children said Friday. The couple had been elevated to the Marshals’ 15 Most Wanted in February, the first time a couple had made the list.
Two of Casian-Garcia’s daughters were found abandoned in Tijuana, Mexico, in late 2020, both allegedly showing signs of “severe physical and sexual abuse,” the Marshals service said in February. The girls were 8-years-old and 3-years-old at the time.
Investigators said they believed the couple were abusing and trafficking their children.
Casian-Garcia and Medina were also wanted for questioning in the murder of the girls’ 7-year-old brother, who was tortured to death in Washington State. His body was found in rural Washington in February 2022.
Casian-Garcia and Medina’s travels between when the girls were found in Mexico in 2020 and when they were known to have crossed the border in 2021 are unclear.
The couple crossed the border into Mexico in June 2021, which investigators believe was an attempt to flee after the boy’s death. The Marshals service said they might have five children with them, three of Medina’s children from a previous marriage and two children Casian-Garcia shared with another woman.
A reward up to $25,000 for each Casian-Garcia and Medina was offered for tips that led to the couple’s capture.
John Bischoff, of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, said Friday that he was grateful the children were rescued.
“The crimes that Araceli Medina and Edgar Casian-Garcia are charged with are heinous and we commend the unwavering dedication of law enforcement,” Bischoff said.
Casian-Garcia and Medina were in custody in Mexico and are expected to be extradited to the U.S. to face criminal proceedings, the center said.
They are both charged with aggravated murder in the first degree, four counts of rape of a child in the first degree and three counts of assault of a child in the first degree in Franklin County, the Marshals said in February. Court records in their case were not immediately available.
The U.S. Marshals did not immediately respond to a request for more information from NBC News on Sunday.