Dori: Former foster mom grieves for 5-year-old missing daughter after return to biological parents

May 24, 2022, 7:52 AM

Oakley Carlson (center) among foster parents Jamie (right) and Erik (left) Jo Hiles
(Beautiful Life...

Oakley Carlson (center) among foster parents Jamie (right) and Erik (left) Jo Hiles (Beautiful Life Photography/Jamie Jo Hiles).

(Beautiful Life Photography/Jamie Jo Hiles)

While 5-year-old Oakley Carlson’s biological parents are behind bars on child endangerment convictions, the girl’s foster mom says she hasn’t given up on the hope that Grays Harbor County or Washington state authorities will find the missing girl alive.

But as days go by, foster parent Jamie Jo Hiles told The Dori Monson Show she grows increasingly frustrated with state officials who returned Oakley to Andrew Carlson and Jordan Bowers in November 2019. Hiles and her husband, Erik, cared for the little girl for more than two years after she was placed with them at age 7 months.

Now, according to investigators, Oakley has not officially been seen since February 2021; her biological parents – who have a history of drug use – claim she went missing in November 2021.

“I don’t know how anybody in their right mind – a judge, a social worker, or anybody – thinks this is okay, not only for Oakley but for her siblings to put them back in this situation,” Hiles said.

A week-long Gray Harbor County Sheriff’s Office investigation of the biological parents’ property in December 2021 turned up nothing of Oakley. In fact, documents show, there were no clothes or toys belonging to the girl on the family’s premises. Carlson and Bowers have denied knowing about Oakley’s whereabouts.

Early this spring, Carlson and Bowers were convicted on separate child endangerment charges connected to their other children. Reports indicate two of three children remaining in the home were found to have “extremely high” levels of methamphetamines in their systems. Carlson could be released as early as August.

When asked by KING 5 TV reporter Austin Jenkins about Oakley’s disappearance during a press conference last week, Gov. Jay Inslee said he had “all sorts of inhibitions and inabilities” to talk about this, citing “privacy laws.” The governor referred questions to the state’s Family and Children’s Ombuds office.

But Hiles told Dori that she has called and written to the ombuds office several times with concerns about Oakley’s welfare since the Washington State Department of Children, Youth, and Families (DCYF) required the Hiles to relinquish the child back to Carlson and Bowers. The former foster mom said she has heard nothing back.

“It’s a state agency. Why isn’t our state governor looking into this?” Hiles challenged.

“It just makes me ill, it’s sick that I would have given anything to raise this little girl and her biological parents don’t want to even acknowledge that she’s missing,” Hiles told Dori and his listeners.

During the almost two years Oakley was with the Hiles, she blossomed with dance and swim classes, and progressed quickly in preschool, the foster mom said.

Even though both parents have been jailed in connection with endangering Oakley’s siblings, Hiles remains hopeful for the little girl she once called her own.

“I want to read her more bedtime books,” she said. “I still have a college fund for her that I pay into every single month. I will not stop thinking and fighting for her. I just can’t stop.”

Listen to Dori’s entire interview with Jamie Jo Hiles about her missing former foster daughter, Oakley Carlson

Listen to the Dori Monson Show weekday afternoons from noon – 3 p.m. on KIRO Newsradio, 97.3 FM. Subscribe to the podcast here.

Dori Monson Show

Dori Monson

Dori Monson stage show...

MyNorthwest Staff

Watch: Dori Monson’s ‘What are the Odds?’ stage show

In 2019, Dori Monson hosted a stage show - 'What are the Odds?' - which introduced you to the people who helped shape his improbable career.

1 year ago

Dori Monson welcomes the Moose back to KIRO. Follow @

MyNorthwest Staff

A collection of the all-time best Dori Monson stories

With the passing of Dori Monson, a collection of some of his top stories to remember all the hard work Dori brought to Seattle.

1 year ago

Alaska, fishing...

KIRO Newsradio staff

Listen: Friends, colleagues offer tribute to KIRO Newsradio’s Dori Monson

All day Monday, KIRO Newsradio's John Curley talked to friends, news makers, and more in tribute to Dori Monson.

1 year ago

Dori Monson Shorecrest...

Dori Monson Show

How to support charities reflecting Dori Monson’s values, passions

In tribute to Dori Monson, learn more about how you can support these three charities which best reflect his values, passions, and advocacy.

1 year ago

From left, Producer Nicole Thompson and KIRO host Dori Monson. (Courtesy of the Monson family)...

MyNorthwest Staff

Broadcasters, politicians, coworkers and friends remember Dori Monson

Dori Monson, a longtime KIRO Newsradio host, passed away Saturday. He is remembered by public figures, broadcasters, coworkers, and listeners.

1 year ago

Dori Monson...

MyNorthwest Staff

Longtime KIRO Newsradio host Dori Monson dies at age 61

We are deeply saddened to announce Dori Monson's sudden passing on Saturday, December 31, 2022, at a Seattle hospital.

1 year ago

Dori: Former foster mom grieves for 5-year-old missing daughter after return to biological parents