Jordan Bowers, mother of missing child Oakley Carlson, strikes plea deal in ID theft case

Oakley Carlson’s biological mother has accepted a last-minute plea deal in an identity theft case, not linked to the missing girl.

Jordan Bowers’ trial for three counts of first-degree identity theft, and one count of second-degree identity theft was set to begin Tuesday with jury selection.

Instead, a 36-month plea deal sentence will allow Bowers out of prison in roughly a year. According to the prosecuting attorney, Bowers will receive credit for time served since her arrest in January, and will be eligible for 12 months of community custody.

"I’m frustrated and disappointed," said Jamie Jo Hiles, the longtime foster mother of Oakley Carlson. "I feel that the one sense of justice I might have seen Jordan face has been taken away because of this plea deal with the prosecutor."

Bowers and her husband Andrew Carlson are the prime suspects in the disappearance of 6-year-old Oakley Carlson.

READ MORE: Two years later: Where is Oakley Carlson, and what's being done to prevent similar situations?

The investigation into the couple began in late 2021, though it was later determined by investigators that no one had seen the child since February of that year.

Charges surrounding Carlson have not been filed. Investigators have told FOX 13 News that they continue to explore every tip that they receive.

That has included investigating sightings around the country, and theories of individuals that knew Bowers that believe she sold her child. None of the leads have panned out, though Hiles made it clear that she continues to meet with detectives at the Grays Harbor County Sheriff’s Office and that she sees progress that others may not.

Despite that hope, Hiles said she isn’t certain she’ll see any form of justice for Oakley. In fact, she had been eagerly awaiting this identity theft trial for Bowers—she said it would have been an opportunity to see Bowers spend time behind bars, even if it wasn’t for the disappearance of Oakley.

"It was an extremely solid case," she said. "To know it would have put her away for, possibly, five more years, and now what we know because of this plea deal is just sickening. It’s heartbreaking, really."

Grays Harbor Prosecuting Attorney Richard Petersen declined an on-camera interview with FOX 13 News, but spoke inside the courthouse on Tuesday afternoon.

According to Petersen, the plea deal was standard—what he called "the middle range" for any type of plea deal on the charges Bowers faced.

Petersen said he spent more time preparing for this case than any other case he'd ever prosecuted that didn’t go to trial, noting that it was a complex case and that he risked confusing jurors with too much information or not enough, based on how he prosecuted the case.

RELATED: Grays Harbor Sheriff's Office releases age-progression photos of Oakley Carlson

Asked specifically about the frustrations of Hiles, or others in the community, he said the case had nothing to do with Oakley Carlson, and that it was his job to separate the case from the emotions surrounding the missing person investigation.

"I don’t feel good about knowing that Andrew is free," said Hiles. "He’s out there in Wenatchee living a good life, and Jordan is going to serve some time and then she’s free. Where does that put Oakley? Where does that put her siblings?"