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Family hasn’t seen missing Grays Harbor County girl for a year, documents say

Oakley Carlson's parents face abandonment charges after withholding medication from another child of theirs for 15 months, investigators said.

GRAYS HARBOR COUNTY, Wash. — A missing 5-year-old girl from Grays Harbor County hasn't been seen by family members since December 2020, according to court documents.

The Grays Harbor County Sheriff's Office said Oakley’s parents, identified as Andrew Carlson and Jordan Bowers, face charges of abandonment of a dependent person in the second degree after investigators discovered evidence the parents have not been providing medication prescribed to their other daughter for 15 months.

The medication is necessary for the 6-year-old's health, and going without it puts her at risk of physical impairment, which could eventually result in death, investigators said.

The sheriff's office had previously held Oakley's parents for manslaughter in the first degree, according to court documents. However, they are no longer being held on that charge.

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Investigators have not found any evidence Oakley has been seen alive since Jan. 27, 2021. Her parents claim the last time they saw Oakley alive was Nov. 30. Detectives believe Oakley's disappearance is "criminal in nature."

Law enforcement was first alerted to Oakley's disappearance after the principal of Oakville Elementary School, Jessica Swift, called the Grays Harbor County Sheriff's Office. Swift told deputies she was concerned for the girl's safety after Oakley's sibling came over for a playdate and sleepover, according to court documents.

Swift asked Oakley's sibling about the girl, who then became very upset, telling her, "Oakley is no more," according to court documents. Swift asked the sibling again where Oakley was. Oakley's sibling then said the girl went to live with foster parents she had lived with previously.

Swift reached out to the Grays Harbor County Sheriff's Office, and a deputy confirmed with Child Protective Services that Oakley was no longer in foster care, according to court documents.

Oakley's former foster parents haven't seen her since November 2019. 

Swift later told the sheriff's office she had been to Oakley's house several times after the family's home was damaged in a fire and hadn't seen Oakley during any of her previous visits, court documents say. Oakley's parents told Swift the girl was in her room.

The Tumwater Police Department then conducted a welfare check to a hotel where Oakley's family was staying, according to court documents. Oakley was not at the hotel.

Carlson told officers Oakley was with his parents but said he didn't know his father's phone number and could not remember the address of his father's home. Officers reached out to Carlson's father, who said he had not seen Oakley since December 2020, according to court documents.

Officers reported Carlson did not seem surprised that Oakley wasn't with his parents. Bowers became uncooperative and refused to answer further questions, according to documents.

RELATED: Parents in custody after 5-year-old Grays Harbor County girl goes missing

Investigators spoke to Oakley's sibling who said their parents told them not to talk about Oakley with anyone, according to court documents. Another one of Oakley's siblings told investigators their parents would put Oakley in the closet or under the stairwell, and they had witnessed Bowers beat Oakley with a belt, according to documents.

The sibling also told investigators they were worried about Oakley starving. The sibling said everyone got out of the fire at their home but Oakley, court documents show.

Investigators conducted a forensic interview with one of Oakley's siblings, who said they had not seen Oakley in a long time. They said Bowers told them Oakley had gone out into the woods and was eaten by wolves, according to court documents.

When the parents were questioned another time by law enforcement, Bowers became uncooperative and was arrested for obstructing an investigation.

Carlson had limited information on Oakley's whereabouts and made statements "to the effect of Oakley being dead, or not coming back for a reunion," court documents say.

During a search of the family's home, toys and clothing were located for all of the children except Oakley, according to court documents. Blood was found on the blinds and the front door, as well as a handprint on the wall in the downstairs hallway.

Anyone with information about Oakley's disappearance is asked to contact the Grays Harbor County Sheriff's Office non-emergency number at 360-533-8765 or contact Detective Sgt. Paul Logan at 360-964-1729 or by email at sodetectives@co.grays-harbor.wa.us.

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