The parents of missing 5-year-old Oakley Carlson, who are facing felony charges related to two of their other children, both have hearings scheduled to determine whether their own statements can be used as evidence in trial.
Jordan Bowers and Andrew Carlson each face one count of second-degree abandonment of a dependent child for allegedly neglecting to give their 6-year-old daughter a prescribed medication, and two counts of endangerment with a controlled substance for allegedly exposing their 6-year-old daughter and 2-year-old son to methamphetamine.
Neither Bowers or Carlson yet face charges related to Oakley, though both remain suspects in the disappearance of the 5-year-old Oakville girl.
While Bowers and Carlson have identical charges and will be tried at the same time, their cases remain separate up until the joint trial.
That trial is currently scheduled for April 19.
Prosecuting attorney Jason Walker told Grays Harbor County Superior Court Judge Dave Edwards Tuesday morning that Bowers’ case would require a 3.5 suppression hearing — a special hearing to determine if any statement of guilt by the defendant can be used as evidence in a trial — prior to trial.
“That’s not surprising,” said Walker, later adding, “I anticipate that the issue is going to be more legal rather than factual.”
Carlson’s attorney, Jonathan Feste, informed the court earlier this month that Carlson’s case would also require a 3.5 hearing.
“It’s a completely different issue to Ms. Bowers,’” Walker said on Tuesday.
Bower’s 3.5 hearing is scheduled for 9 a.m. on March 25, while Carlson’s has not yet been scheduled.
Their next court appearances, however, are pre-trial conferences scheduled for March 14.
Walker informed the court Tuesday that expected to submit additional evidence — a pediatrician’s exam of the 6-year-old and the 2-year-old — before trial, but none of the parties have indicated they won’t be ready for trial by 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.
- Feb. 22, 2022: Bowers and Carlson appear in Grays Harbor County Superior Court for omnibus hearings. A 3.5 suppression hearing to determine whether statements of guilt made by Bowers can be used as evidence in trial is scheduled.