Grays Harbor detectives still looking for answers a year after reported disappearance of 6-year-old
On the day of Oakley Carlson’s sixth birthday, Grays Harbor County detectives are continuing to search for answers regarding her disappearance a year after she was reported missing.
“Maybe today will be the day that I learn something. Or maybe today, there will be a tip that’s called in,” Jamie Jo Hiles, Oakley’s foster mother, said on Thursday. “You know, when I get that text message or that call from a detective … my heart beats a million miles a minute because I think they finally have answers.”
Oakley was reported missing on Dec. 6, 2021, but detectives believe she has been missing since February 2021.
Oakley’s birth parents, Andrew Carlson and Jordan Bowers, are persons of interests in her disappearance and have not cooperated with investigators, according to detectives.
Last December, Carlson and Bowers were arrested on child endangerment charges related to Oakley’s sibling.
Investigators said Carlson and Bowers did not provide necessary medication for one of their children for 15 months. They are also accused of exposing their children to methamphetamine.
Carlson was released from prison early, while Bowers is expected to be released in 2023.
Neither Carlson nor Bowers have faced charges related to Oakley’s disappearance.
An $85,000 reward is now available for anyone with information leading to Oakley.
“We’ll do whatever it takes to hopefully get some answers,” said Hiles.
A fundraiser for Oakley’s reward fund will be held this Friday at the Montesano Festival of Lights from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Shayna Richards, the co-founder of Light The Way: Missing Persons Advocacy Project, helped create a video featuring supporters called “Oakley’s Angels.” It was shared with the Hiles family in honor of Oakley’s sixth birthday.
Richards said it was created to “show our support for Oakley and the Hiles, and that we’re not going to give up. We’re going to keep sharing her face, her name and her story so that we can bring Oakley home.”
“It was just a really heartwarming thing to see on such a hard day,” Hiles said.
Richards and Hiles are also both pushing state officials, including Gov. Jay Inslee, for a secondary review of Oakley’s case with the Department of Children, Youth and Families. Both believe the agency fell short in protecting Oakley.
Hiles previously told KIRO 7 she alerted DCYF and Child Protective Services multiple times that Oakley may be unsafe in the care of her biological parents.
In response to the claims at the time, a DCYF spokesperson emailed KIRO 7, “Due to privacy laws, we cannot comment on case-specific details.”
“All we’re asking for is a second set of eyes to look at her case,” said Richards.