Parents arrested after girl tells teacher her five-year-old sister had vanished: ‘She’s been eaten by wolves’

Oakley Carlson was reported missing on 6 December

Alisha Rahaman Sarkar
Wednesday 15 December 2021 12:55 GMT
Reality that Oakley will recover safe and sound is becoming smaller, says sheriff
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The parents of a missing five-year-old girl in Washington have been arrested and charged with second-degree child abandonment while a search operation for the girl was called off after her sister made suspicious claims.

Five-year-old Oakley Carlson was reported missing on 6 December, but investigators said she was last seen alive on 10 February.

The search for Oakley was called off after the missing child’s six-year-old sister made claims that increased suspicion on her parents Jordan Bowers and Andrew Carlson, who were initially arrested on suspicion of manslaughter.

Grays Harbor County undersheriff Brad Johansson announced on Monday that detectives had called off the search operation after thoroughly combing more than 300 acres of land area surrounding the parents’ home.

The search for Oakley began on 6 December after the missing child’s school principal requested welfare to check on her.

The principal told investigators that the child had not been to school for a long time and that her older sister allegedly made claims that worried her.

During a sleepover with the principal’s daughter and the principal, Oakley’s sister allegedly said her sibling was dead.

She had said that “Oakley is no more” and that “there is no Oakley”, according to an affidavit obtained by KCPQ, a Fox-owned television station.

In an interview with a child advocate afterwards, Oakley’s sister also allegedly said that “her mother Jordan had told her not to talk about Oakley” and that “she had gone out into the woods and had been eaten by wolves.”

Oakley’s nine-year-old brother informed detectives that Ms Bowers would “put Oakley in the closet, possibly under a stairwell.” He added that he “witnessed Jordan beat Oakley with a belt and has been worried about her starving.”

The parents have claimed the last time they saw Oakley alive was on 30 November. Investigators, however, are yet to find evidence that she was alive after the family was displaced by a fire at their home on 6 November.

The missing child’s grandparents informed the police that they had not seen Oakley since December last year.

Ms Bowers and Mr Carlson have been charged with second-degree child abandonment for allegedly withholding medication from Oakley’s sister for 15 months. The parents could still face manslaughter or murder charges even if Oakley is not found, Mr Johansson told KCPQ.

This would, however, depend on the prosecutor’s office, he added.

The two are currently being held at the Grays Harbor County Jail on a $150,000 (£113,235) bond and are scheduled to appear at the District Court on 30 December.

“The likelihood of Oakley Carlson being alive is not very good at this point,” Mr Johansson told the station.

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