More than 14 months since 5-year old Oakley Carlson was last seen, a mystery remains about her disappearance.
Count 5-year old Aubrey Wolfe among the Grays Harbor residents who are angry about the fact Oakley hasn’t been found and that she went missing in the first place.
Aubrey showed the bellowing crowd who showed up on Saturday, April 9, how much she cares about finding Oakley. Through a bullhorn, she chanted her heart out with a simple message of “Where is Oakley?”
Her mother, Jordan Wolfe, beamed with pride about her daughter’s will to be heard.
“I’m raising a little warrior,” Wolfe said.
The loud and persistent community members, who braved cold winds, rain, and sharp pelts of hail, united in pursuit of answers in their fifth such gathering outside the Grays Harbor County Courthouse Jail.
The group’s efforts came one day after Oakley’s biological mother, Jordan Bowers, pleaded guilty, Friday, April 8, to two felony charges of child endangerment. Those charges are related to Bowers’ two other children.
For those crimes, Bowers faces a sentencing range of 15 to 20 months in prison.
Annette Avila, of Montesano, hopes and prays that Bowers, as well as Andrew Carlson, Oakley’s biological father, provides answers about her disappearance.
“I just wish they’d talk,” she said. “They really need to talk and to tell everybody the truth.”
Oakley hasn’t been seen since Feb. 10, 2021, and she was reported missing Dec. 6, 2021. This gathering was as loud as the four that preceded it.
Avila explained what specifically led her to standing outside the jail.
“I have grandkids, I have kids,” she said. “This is a big cause for me. There’s no reason for a little girl to be missing. To see this happening is not right. It’s not right. That’s why I’m here.”
Avila, who along with her friends was holding a hand-painted sign, was convinced that if Bowers and Carlson know where Oakley is, and are hiding that information, it will do them no good.
“It’s gonna come out eventually,” she said. “They just need to talk. Be a parent, be a real parent. Tell us what happened. That’s all everybody wants.”
While the weather started to clear up with fewer clouds adorning the sky, the chants continued with messages such as “We are Oakley’s voice,” “No excuse for child abuse” and “Where is Oakley?”
A secondary crowd split off and headed to the north side of the jail. They yelled “Oakley deserves answers,” as the inmates on the north side of the jail provided intermittent percussive hits to their cell windows. A few people from the north side crowd banged on an overturned garbage receptacle.
Angela Allen, of Elma, was there with her daughter Presley, niece Aaliyah, and young cousin Addy, to make their voices heard. Allen said she was there to support, and to show others in the community how important it is to find Oakley.
“And (to) get answers for where she is,” Allen said. “And to find justice for her.”
She said her family members, who were with her, love to show their support for Oakley.
“I just wish they’d tell us where she is,” she said. “Just do the right thing.”
Allen said the weather wasn’t stopping her, or her group, to be at Saturday’s gathering, which was their second one.
“We were just braving the weather, no matter what,” she said. “They were convinced, they were ready to go. They’ve been talking about it since the last one we came to.”
A reward fund for information that leads to the finding of Oakley Carlson has been set up. Through Monday April 11, the reward fund has increased to $9,031. Those interested can visit https://justiceforoakley.wixsite.com/home/donate in order to help raise funds for the search to find Oakley.
Wolfe, who has helped organize the gatherings, as well as the “Oakley Carlson-Oakville, Washington” Facebook page, said about 125 people were in attendance. But, by their collective volume, it seemed like more showed up.
Wolfe said she thinks those who have shown up five times since Thursday, Dec. 30 — the day of the first gathering — have succeeded.
“I think a lot of the chanting from the outside is really beneficial,” she said as departing vehicles honked their horns on North Main Street. (It shows) we’re not gonna quit. We’re never gonna quit”