The father of a missing Washington girl, Oakley Carlson, appeared at an Oakville court Monday morning and pleaded guilty to two counts of endangerment with a controlled substance.
Oakley’s father, Andrew Carlson, pleaded guilty in connection with Oakley’s older sister, 6, who was supposed to be given prescription medication for her health. Prosecutors say both Carlson and Oakley’s mother, Jordan Bowers, had not refilled the child’s prescription in months.
Prosecutors added that without the medication, the child is in danger of physical impairment with the potential to lead to death. She’s now in protective custody.
Bowers also appeared in court Monday, but her hearing was rescheduled to a later date.
As CrimeOnline previously reported, police arrested Bowers and Carlson in December 2021 and initially charged them with manslaughter. Those charges were dropped, citing a lack of evidence, but they were both charged with neglect in connection with Oakley’s sister.
Investigators interviewed the 6-year-old, who said her mother told her not to talk about Oakley. 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.
When police questioned Bowers about Oakley’s disappearance, she allegedly became furious 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.
Neighbors of the family previously said they have not seen Oakley “in quite some time.” One person in the Oakville neighborhood said that it had been so long since Oakley was seen that the school bus eventually stopped coming to pick her up.
Oakley was reported missing after deputies arrived at her family’s home on December 6, 2021, to perform a welfare check, at the request of Oakville Elementary School Principal, Jessica Swift.
Swift said the first time she noticed something odd was when she brought supplies to Oakley’s parents in December 2021, following a house fire that destroyed a lot of their belongings.
“Jordan had let us know that there was a fire so I had gone out to check on them and offer support and drop off supplies from the school right after the fire,” Swift told News Nation.
“I saw all the other kids running around and playing and I didn’t see Oakley and I thought it was a little odd. I asked where she was and they told me that she was in her room in time out.”
Two weeks later, Swift returned to the home and again, didn’t see Oakley. Later, Oakley’s 6-year-old sister went to Swift’s home for a playdate with Swift’s daughter, and that’s when Swift learned that Oakley had not been seen in a while.
“On a playdate with my daughter and Oakley’s sister, I asked questions about Oakley,” Swift told News Nation. “And it came out over the course of those questions that Oakley wasn’t living with them anymore. I can’t describe the feeling I had at that moment, sitting on that couch with that little girl when she said that.”
Swift said she immediately contacted Grays Harbor police and made a report.
When police searched the home, they saw no sign of Oakley having ever been there.
“We did not notice any bedroom set up for Oakley downstairs where everybody else had bedrooms set up,” Schrader said.
Schrader added that none of Oakley’s clothing was in the home and police found blood spatter inside the residence. However, he’s hopeful that Oakley is still alive and will be found.
“I think we’ll come to a closure on this case. I’m hopeful that Oakley is found and she’s found alive, but there are pieces inside of me that think that that might not be a reality — just given the investigation.”
In the meantime, both suspects remain behind bars at Grays Harbor County Jail on $150,000 bail each.
Investigators would like to speak with anyone who has seen or spoken to Oakley since January 2021, as well as anyone who had direct contact with her parents during the same time period.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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[Feature Photo: Oakley Carlson/Handout]