Washington State's Keeping Families Together Act blamed for enabling the horrific stabbing death of 4-year-old boy by his own mother

“Democrats have chosen this radical ideology of their drug ideology and their equity ideology over the lives of innocent children in our state.”

Ari Hoffman Seattle WA
Failed Democratic policies are being blamed for the horrific murder of a 4-year-old boy in Governor Jay Inslee's Washington State, namely the Keeping Families Together Act.

On Monday, Janet Garcia, 27 appeared in Snohomish County Court following her arrest Friday as the suspect in the death of her son Ariel Garcia. Police believe that Janet Garcia stabbed the 4-year-old “up to 41 times” during a vicious attack in Everett, WA last week.

According to court documents, Janet Garcia had blood on her shirt and shoes when she was arrested.

The boy went missing Wednesday and his body was later found dumped alongside Interstate 5 in Pierce County. Police said in court documents that Janet Garcia killed her son and then checked herself into an alcohol rehabilitation center in Clark County.

Earlier last week, Ariel's grandmother had petitioned for custody of the boy and told a court she had concerns about his safety while under his mother’s care because of her drug use.

According to court records, she filed a petition for guardianship of Ariel Garcia on Monday, two days before he disappeared.

The grandmother wrote, “While she is on drugs, she is not capable of parenting. Her want for drugs and alcohol makes her leave for days at a time without notice. Luckily, since they live with me, I can step in when this happens. Her behavior has become very violent and unpredictable.”

She added that Janet Garcia had taken the 4-year-old to a bar to drink within the last few days and would regularly leave the boy with his brother without supervision.

“I love my grandson, and I want to protect him from whatever his mom is capable of while she is on drugs. He trusts me and feels safe with me. Since I have cared for Ariel all these years, I am already aware of his needs,” the grandmother wrote in an affidavit.

In July 2023, the Keeping Families Together Act went into effect and allowed the drug-addicted and homeless to maintain custody of children because circumstances such as substance abuse or inadequate housing don’t constitute imminent physical harm to a child, according to state Democrats.

The results of the legislation have already been tragic.

Earlier this year, James Kennedy, the Jefferson County Prosecuting Attorney and Coroner told King 5 that the law needs to be changed after a three-week-old baby was found dead in the bushes near a lagoon in Port Townsend with blood dripping from its nose and strapped to a car seat.

According to court documents, the baby was born with fentanyl in his system, and the mother also tested positive for fentanyl. The Washington State Department of Children, Youth, and Families (DCYF) gave temporary custody to Jordan Sorenson, the father of the infant, despite a lengthy criminal history dating back to when he was a minor, including 28 warrants for failure to appear or comply, four felony convictions as an adult, and two felony convictions as a minor, eight gross misdemeanor convictions and two pending misdemeanors.

Though he passed an initial drug test to care for the baby, he then began not complying with drug testing, and then, a few days later, he disappeared with the baby.

The baby’s mother told DCYF that Sorensen had used black market-purchased urine to pass his drug test. He was eventually found without the child. He led police to the spot where he put the baby’s body and claimed he fell asleep with the baby on his lap and woke up to find the baby dead between his body and the chair he was sitting in.

Sorensen was charged with kidnapping, disposing of a body, and concealing a body.

There were 85 deaths of children who were under the supervision of the state in 2022; 22 of the deaths were due to accidental drug ingestion or overdose, 67 percent of which were due to fentanyl, according to a report from the Washington State Office of the Family and Children’s Ombuds.

State Republicans introduced a bill this legislative session to try to reverse parts of the law by requiring the immediate removal of children from caretakers using illegal substances, including fentanyl, by classifying the presence of those drugs as "imminent harm."

The legislation would have also created additional training and fentanyl-specific risk assessment tools for caseworkers investigating abuse as well as provide caseworkers with fentanyl test strips to confirm the presence of fentanyl in the home.

Democrats rejected the legislation in favor of their own watered-down version HB 2447, which ultimately passed.

State Rep Travis Couture, who sponsored the original legislation to fix the problem, told The Ari Hoffman Show on Talk Radio 570 KVI, “Democrats have chosen this radical ideology of their drug ideology and their equity ideology over the lives of innocent children in our state.”

“Oftentimes Ari, they're born addicted to fentanyl, they're born addicted to drugs, and I want to be able to take the keys away from those parents so we can help the parents get sober again…so that we can do the primary thing we should be doing, which is the safety of the child and make sure the child is safe.”

He noted that in 2022, Washington had almost 3, 000 drug deaths. “It’s like a 9/11…It's the whole population of Port Ludlow or McCord Air Force Base.”

“We have to crack down on these monsters that are peddling just garbage and junk into our street. The federal government has failed us at the border. But we have a responsibility to do something,” adding that “harm reduction” is “just coddling. All we're doing as a state is pouring billions of dollars to pour services down into somebody who is in a dark, dark hole. We'd never teach them how to climb out of the hole.”

“We just keep pouring down more services to the dark hole and it causes harm. I expect them to understand how to climb out someday. Love and compassion for your fellow man is not giving them the tools to kill themselves. And it just makes me sick. We have all these government-funded heroin dens and booty bumping kits. I mean, that's our tax dollars paying for that junk. And it's not helping anyone. We have like just this, this mass casualty on our streets.”

Couture continued, “More people died in 2022 from drug deaths and overdose deaths, then died since 2001 in Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan.”
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