The parents of missing 5-year-old Oakley Carlson have pleaded not guilty to two new charges alleging they exposed their 6-year-old daughter and 2-year-old son to methamphetamine.
The charges, endangerment with a controlled substance, are considered class B felonies and are punishable by up to 10 years in prison.
Neither yet face charges related to Oakley, though both remain suspects in the disappearance of the 5-year-old Oakville girl.
Jordan Bowers and Andrew Carlson were initially charged with second-degree abandonment of a dependent child on Dec. 9 for allegedly failing to give their 6-year-old daughter, Oakley’s older sister, a prescribed medication for 15 months.
The next day, on Dec. 10, the Department of Children, Youth and Families reportedly took hair follicle samples from the couple’s 6-year-old daughter and 2-year-old son, both of whom were taken into Child Protective Services’ custody when Bowers and Carlson were initially arrested on suspicion of manslaughter on Dec. 6.
The hair samples were submitted to a lab for analysis, according to reporting from The Daily World that cites records from Grays Harbor County Superior Court.
The 6-year-old’s hair follicle showed 5,186 pictograms of methamphetamine and the 2-year-old’s hair follicle showed at least 10,000 pictograms — which is the maximum the lab results can show — according to records obtained by The Daily World.
“These numbers are extremely high and consistent with a child who has ingested methamphetamine, although they are not inconsistent with a child who has been passively exposed to the drug,” stated Dr. Joyce Gilbert of the Providence Sexual Assault and Maltreatment Clinic in files obtained by The Daily World.
The amount of methamphetamine found within the 2-year-old’s hair follicle was “more consistent with ingestion,” according to the files.
The tests reflect exposure to methamphetamine within three months of the test, according to the files.
Bowers and Carlson both have a history of methamphetamine use and have told detectives that they recently relapsed.
Deputy Prosecutor Jason Walker filed a motion in Grays Harbor County Superior Court on Jan. 20 informing the court he intended to file amended information in Bowers’ and Carlson’s cases. He was initially scheduled to file that information on Jan. 31, but due to “late-breaking information that expanded the dates I want to allege,” the filing was delayed until Feb. 7.
The tests confirmed the children were exposed to methamphetamine within the last three months, but Walker alleges the children were exposed to the drug as early as July 1, 2021.
When asked by Judge Dave Edwards on Feb. 7 whether they objected to the filing of Walker’s amended information, both Bowers’ and Carlson’s attorneys said they did not object to the filing.
Omnibus hearings are scheduled for Tuesday, Feb. 22 to review Bowers’ and Carlson’s cases and discuss what evidence will be needed for trial.
“I have much discovery to review with (Carlson) so we can have a thoughtful conversation at the omnibus hearing,” said Jonathan Feste, Carlson’s attorney.
The court intends to schedule a 3.5 hearing in Carlson’s case to determine if any statements made by Carlson can be used as evidence in trial, but that hearing has not yet been scheduled.
A joint trial for Bowers and Carlson is scheduled for April 19.
Timeline of Oakley’s Disappearance and Her Biological Parents’ Court Case
• Nov. 2019: Oakley leaves the care of her foster parents and returns to her biological parents.
• Feb. 10, 2021: The last time detectives with the Grays Harbor County Sheriff’s Office can confirm Oakley was seen alive.
• Nov. 6, 2021: A fire was reported at the Carlson’s residence in Oakville just before 5 p.m. Andrew Carlson told dispatchers his 4-year-old (Oakley’s age at the time) had lit the couch on fire with a cigarette lighter and said he had put the fire out himself. Investigators later determined the fire most likely started in the microwave on the kitchen counter — not from the couch, as Carlson had claimed.
• Nov. 30, 2021: The date Oakley’s parents claim they last saw Oakley.
• Dec. 5, 2021: Oakville Elementary School Principal Jessica Swift contacts the Grays Harbor County Sheriff’s Office with concerns about Oakley’s safety.
• Dec. 6, 2021:
• Approximately 10 a.m.: An officer with the Tumwater Police Department initiates a welfare check for Oakley and interviews Oakley’s parents in their hotel room.
• 3:31 p.m.: An officer confirmed Bowers and Carlson left the hotel with their 2-year-old and returned to their Oakville residence.
• 5:10 p.m.: Bowers is booked into the Grays Harbor County Jail for allegedly obstructing an officer and on suspicion of manslaughter.
• 9:30 p.m.: Carlson is booked into the Grays Harbor County Jail on suspicion of manslaughter.
• Dec. 7, 2021: Oakley’s sister’s temporary foster parents ask law enforcement about a medication prescribed to the 6-year-old, and law enforcement learn Bowers and Carlson had not been giving the child the medication.
• Dec. 9, 2021: The 72-hour hold on suspicion of manslaughter expires, and that case is closed. Bowers and Carlson are charged with second-degree abandonment of a dependent person for allegedly neglecting to give their 6-year-old daughter prescribed medication for approximately 15 months.
• Dec. 10, 2021: The Department of Children, Youth and Families takes hair follicle samples from Oakley’s 6-year-old sister and 2-year-old brother to submit for analysis. The tests eventually reveal substantial amounts of methamphetamine in both hair follicle samples, indicating the children were exposed to the drug within the last three months.
• Dec. 13, 2021: Detectives complete their search of the Carlson family’s house and surrounding property.
• Dec. 30, 2021: Bowers and Carlson appear in Grays Harbor County Superior Court for the first time. Demonstrators gather outside the courthouse demanding answers about Oakley.
• Jan. 10, 2022: Bowers and Carlson both plead not guilty to second-degree abandonment of a dependent child. Trial dates are set for April 2022.
• Jan. 20, 2022: Deputy Prosecutor Jason Walker submits a motion in Grays Harbor County Superior Court to file amended information adding two counts of endangerment with a controlled substance to Bowers’ and Carlson’s cases, citing results from the hair follicle tests that show methamphetamine in both hair samples.
• Jan. 28, 2022: The Grays Harbor County Sheriff’s Office submits new evidence to the Grays Harbor County Prosecutor’s Office. Based on this evidence, Walker alleges Bowers and Carlson exposed the 6-year-old and 2-year-old to methamphetamine as early as July 1, 2021.
• Jan. 29, 2022: Demonstrators hold a rally outside the Grays Harbor County Jail demanding answers about Oakley.
• Jan. 31, 2022: Bowers and Carlson appear in Grays Harbor County Superior Court for omnibus hearings. The judge schedules a hearing for Feb. 7 to add two new charges to both Bowers’ and Carlson’s cases based on the new evidence from the sheriff’s office.
• Feb. 7, 2022: Bowers and Carlson each plead not guilty to two counts of endangerment with a controlled substance.