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Oakley Carlson

Police: Parents of Missing 5-year-old Told Sibling She Was Eaten by Wolves [Update]

*Editor’s Note*: Initial reports indicated that the missing child was not given medication. The information has been updated and corrected to reflect that the suspects are accused of withholding medicine from their other child only, a 6-year-old, according to the Grays Harbor Sheriff’s Office

Details continue to emerge in the case of a Washington state girl who remains missing after social services gave her back to her biological parents.

As CrimeOnline previously reported, neighbors of 5-year-old Oakley Carlson said they have not seen the child “in quite some time.” One person in the Oakland neighborhood said that it had been so long since Oakley was seen that the school bus eventually stopped coming to pick her up.

Grays Harbor Undersheriff Brad Johansson said Oakley was filed as missing after authorities arrived at her family’s residence Monday to perform a welfare check. Oakley’s parents, identified as Jordan Bowers and Andrew Carlson, are currently being held in jail on suspicion of manslaughter charges.

According to police, the suspects failed to give Oakley’s sister her prescribed medication for at least 15 months. Police are also still trying to determine the last time the child was seen. As of now, the last confirmed sighting of Oakley happened on January 27, 2021.

The parents reportedly told investigators that they last saw Oakley alive in November. It’s unclear why they failed to contact the police for help. The child wasn’t reported missing until Oakville Elementary School Principal Jessica Swift contacted police for a welfare check on Oakley.

Jordan Bowers and Andrew Carlson/Police Handout

Investigators also interviewed Oakley’s 6-year-old sister, who initially said her mother told her not to talk about it. She eventually admitted she hadn’t seen her sister in a long time; she began crying when a detective asked her if Oakley was hurt.

“Her mother Jordan told her not to talk about Oakley and that she had gone out to be eaten by wolves,” a police report read.

Carlson’s father, Fred, “stated he did not have Oakley and had not seen her in almost a year,” while Carlson seemed indifferent to the news, according to a police report.

When police questioned Bowers, she allegedly became and refused to answer questions.

“She became enraged, yelling, clenching her fists, and refused to answer any further questions about the welfare or wellbeing of her daughter,” the report read.

During a search of the couple’s residence, police found “blood splatter on the blinds near the front door, on the front door and a handprint on the wall in the downstairs hallway.” They also found signs of other children being in the home but no signs of Oakley.

Investigators are also looking into a fire that started on the couple’s 300-acre property in November. Fox 13 reports that the suspects said they didn’t call for help about the fire because they could not find their cellphones. A friend set up a GoFundMe account for the pair.

Handout

“It’s unusual that a fire department wasn’t called, I would say,” Undersheriff Brad Johansson said, adding that there is a possibility that the child may be deceased.

Oakley’s foster mother, Jamie Jo Hiles, heard about the fire and contacted the Department of Children Youth and Families (DCYF) in November after seeing the GoFundMe account, which has since been deactivated.

“If no one has seen her, what could have happened to her? Was it the fire? Was it something else?” Hiles asked.

Hiles and her husband cared for Oakley for almost three years. Then, in 2019, the courts gave Oakley back to her biological parents. Despite contacting social services numerous times, Hiles and her family never heard from Oakley again.

“We told them [social services] several times this wasn’t a safe decision,” Hiles said. “We begged them – ‘please don’t let her go back, please don’t let her go back.’”

“They made a mistake. A big mistake. I told them in my last letter it was going to be on their shoulders if something happens to her.”

Anyone with information on Oakley should call the sheriff’s office at (360) 533-8765. You can also contact Detective Sgt. Paul Logan at (360) 964-1729 or email sodetectives@co.grays-harbor.wa.us. 

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[Feature Photo: Handout]