Benton County , WA, deputies link bones to missing child


Human bones discovered by hikers in rural Benton County Feb. 5 have been identified as those of a child reported missing in 2021.

Detectives are working with agencies involved in the case to notify the child’s family, according to the Benton County Sheriff’s Office.

The hikers were in rural Benton County south of Kennewick when they saw the bones about 7:30 a.m. on Feb. 5, said sheriff’s Lt. Jason Erickson.

When the bones were found, Coroner Bill Leach said a Washington state forensic anthropologist would examine them to try to determine how the person died, as well as the person’s age and gender.

Officials also planned to see if dental records might help with an identification.

No information has been released on how the child was identified or the cause of the child’s death.

And although the identity of the child has not been made public, Pasco police issued an alert in 2021 for Edgar Casian, then 8 years old.

His mother, Maria Quintero, said police officers had last seen him in Sept. 21, 2020, after she asked them to check on her three children.

She told the Tri-City Herald in June 2021 that she called police and Washington state Child Protective Services several times after he ex-boyfriend took custody of Casian and her two daughters, Biseida, 9, and Luna, 3.

The two girls fled from a hotel room in Mexico in May 2021 and told officials they had been abused.

The girls’ father, Edgar Casian-Garcia, 32, and and their stepmother, Araceli Medina, 37, were charged with torturing the older girl in their Tri-Cities apartment. Warrants for their arrest were issued in July 2021.

In a different missing child case, Pasco police asked for help in August 2021 to find an 8-year-old boy and his mother who had disappeared in April after being expected in Troutdale, Ore. They were found safe a week later.

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Senior staff writer Annette Cary covers Hanford, energy, the environment, science and health for the Tri-City Herald. She’s been a news reporter for more than 30 years in the Pacific Northwest.

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