It’s been almost two years since six-year-old Oakley Carlson from Washington state went missing. Recently unveiled court documents paint a grim picture of the alleged abuse she and her siblings endured at the hands of their drug-addicted biological parents. As the search for clues in the children’s juvenile records continues, a horrifying story of physical abuse and neglect unfolds.
Oakley’s siblings, aged four, eight, and eleven, have reportedly shared their traumatic experiences with detectives. They allege that Oakley was frequently confined in a makeshift “cell” under the stairs, subjected to starvation and physical abuse. One sibling even recounted a chilling story their mother told them, claiming Oakley had wandered into the woods and been eaten by wolves.
Oakley was last seen in February 2021, but her disappearance wasn’t discovered until her family home was destroyed by fire in December 2021. Oakley’s mother, Jordan Bowers, was recently sentenced to a 43-month prison term for identity theft, a crime unrelated to her daughter’s disappearance. This sentence was handed down shortly after she completed a 20-month sentence for child endangerment, following the discovery of extremely high levels of methamphetamine in Oakley’s siblings.
Andrew Carlson, Oakley’s father, is the only other suspect in the case. Despite facing child abuse charges, he was released in August 2022 due to his lack of prior criminal record. Both parents have been uncooperative with police throughout the investigation and were initially jailed on obstruction charges. However, no charges have been filed in relation to Oakley’s disappearance.
The state’s Department of Youth and Family Services has received multiple reports concerning the family since 2013, including allegations of domestic violence, physical abuse, parental drug use, and medical neglect. Bowers has resisted the release of these records, arguing that they are not relevant to Oakley’s disappearance and that their release would infringe on her constitutional rights.
The case took a turn when school staff visited the family home after Bowers reported that Oakley had started a fire there in November 2021. The family did not call emergency services and continued to live in the home despite it being deemed unsafe. When school staff found no trace of Oakley and were told by her siblings that “there is no Oakley,” they alerted the police.
Despite the parents’ assertion that Oakley had started the fire, investigators believe it originated in a microwave. One of the children reportedly told police that all four children were home at the time of the fire, but only Oakley did not make it out.
Criminal profiler John Kelly previously expressed his belief that Oakley was still alive. However, with the recent revelations of escalating abuse, he admitted the possibility that Oakley may not be alive. His organization, S.T.A.L.K., has extended its $10,000 reward for information leading to Oakley’s safe return to include information leading to the recovery of her body.
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