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Parents of Oakley Carlson appear in court on abandonment charges

Jordan Bowers and Andrew Carlson, the parents of Oakley Carlson, face abandonment charges for withholding medication from their other child.

MONTESANO, Wash. — The parents of a missing 5-year-old Oakville girl appeared in court Thursday on abandonment charges related to their other child.

Jordan Bowers and Andrew Carlson are accused of withholding medication from their 6-year-old, who is the sibling of missing Oakley Carlson. Bowers and Carlson allegedly had not provided the medication, which is necessary for the child’s health, for 15 months.

Grays Harbor County Superior Court Judge Katherine Svoboda found probable cause for one count of abandonment of a dependent person in the second degree against both Bowers and Carlson. Bail was set at $150,000.

Bowers and Carlson are expected back in court Jan. 10 for their arraignment.

RELATED: Timeline of events: The search for 5-year-old Oakley Carlson

The abandonment charges are unrelated to the investigation into the disappearance of Oakley, although Chief Criminal Deputy Jason Walker alleged during Thursday’s hearing that Bowers and Carlson “clearly know what happened to the 5-year-old child, and they’re not saying anything.”

Police started investigating Oakley’s disappearance in December after a school principal asked for a welfare check. During a sleepover, one of Oakley’s siblings told Oakville Elementary School Principal Jessica Swift that “Oakley is no more,” according to court documents.

Officers didn’t see Oakley during the welfare check, and Bowers and Carlson were uncooperative with the investigation, according to investigators.

During a search of the family’s home, police found toys and clothing for all kids, except Oakley. They also found blood on blinds and the front door. Investigators also searched the family’s 300-acre property but didn’t find Oakley.

Investigators have not found any evidence that Oakley was seen alive after Feb. 10. Her parents claim they last saw her Nov. 30.

Before Thursday’s court hearing, demonstrators gathered outside the Grays Harbor County Courthouse demanding justice for Oakley. Some community members have called for legislative change in the form of “Oakley’s Law,” which would create a greater system of checkups for children who exit foster care for family reunification.

Credit: Pete Cassam / KING
Demonstrators gathered outside the Grays Harbor County Courthouse on Dec. 30, 2021 in support of finding justice for Oakley Carlson, a missing 5-year-old Oakville girl.

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