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Grim discovery on Tulalip Tribal Reservation

On Oct. 8, 2011, Christina Carlson, 36, a member of the Tulalip Tribe, was arrested when one of her young daughters was found dead and another was discovered near death in a parked car on the Tulalip Tribal Reservation. She and her daughters apparently had been living in the car for more than a month.

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tulalippoliceSEATTLE — A 36-year-old woman who is a member of the Tulalip Tribe was charged in federal court Friday with second-degree murder and two counts of criminal mistreatment in connection with last October’s death of her baby daughter  and neglect of a her second daughter, U.S. Attorney Jenny Durkan announced.

The defendant, Christina Carlson, was transferred to to federal custody Friday and the criminal complaint was unsealed.

The complaint said that on Oct. 8, 2012, emergency crews were called to an address on Marine Drive NE on the Tulalip Tribal Reservation where Carlson was found performing CPR on her 19-month-old daughter, who was unresponsive on a blanket on the ground.  The child was unconscious, not breathing and covered in urine and feces, it said.

A second child, a 33-month old girl, was found strapped in her car seat in a nearby vehicle, the complaint said.  The child was pale, unresponsive and covered in urine and feces.  The girl was transported to the hospital and later recovered.

The 19-month old child died and the Snohomish County Medical examiner classified the manner of death as homicide by parental neglect.  According to the report, the child was malnourished and dehydrated, weighing only 19 pounds.  The child’s skin in the diaper area was excoriated and infested with maggots.  Her hair was infested with lice.

Durkan said that the investigation revealed that Carlson had been living in the car with the girls on the property since mid-September.  On Oct. 8, Carlson had left the girls in the car while she went to use a phone at a home on the property.  Carlson was away from the car for more than an hour by some estimates, Durkan said. About 20 minutes after the neighbors told her to go back to the car and her children, Carlson returned, asking them to call 911 because the youngest child was unresponsive.

Second-degree murder is punishable by up to life in prison.

tulalippoliceTULALIP RESERVATION — A 36-year-old Tulalip woman was arrested Monday on the Tulalip Reservation after her two young children were found alone inside a parked car in desperate need of medical attention.

On Thursday, Christina Carlson pleaded not guilty in tribal court to two charges of criminal endangerment and two counts of failure to care for a dependent person. Her bail was set at $75,000 and a trial date was set for Dec. 5.

The maximum sentence for endangerment and failure to care for a dependent person is up to one year in jail, a fine up to $5,000 and 18 months probation for each charge.

Wednesday, a memorial continued to grow several feet from where 18-month-old Chantel Craig was found dead.

“It hit the community a lot and right now we’re praying for the father,” Alvina Jimicum said. “It’s impacted us a lot in this community.”

Chantel was pronounced dead after arriving at the Providence Medical Center in Everett Monday night. Her 2-year-old sister, Juanita, remains in the hospital, authorities said.

Tulalip tribal police arrested the Carlson on investigation of child neglect and criminal endangerment. She has been booked into the Snohomish County Jail.

Carlson’s friends said they became worried about the children after Carlson was asked to move out of an apartment complex that was boarded-up due to ongoing drug problems at the building.

“The kids should have been taken then,” Jimicum said.

Instead, Carlson and the girls lived in her car — the same car where Chantel was found.

Police were called to the car about 4:45 p.m. Monday in the 1000 block of Marine Drive NE. The chairman of the Tulalip Tribes, Melvin Sheldon, also said the family had been living out of the vehicle. The youngest child appeared to be dead when police arrived, he said.

“I got a call from our chief of police who was at the scene and he shared with me that the youngest child… didn’t make it,” Sheldon said. “The 2-year-old they were going to get to the hospital as soon as possible and hopefully save that young lady’s life.”

Sheldon said it was unclear why the children were alone in the vehicle. But the mother had dealt with drug problems in the past, family members said, and was recently seen acting strangely.

“We’ve been seeing her around the bus stop without the kids and stuff for the past couple of days,” said Susan Jimicum, a cousin to the father of the two young children.

Susan said the mother had left the children alone in the car before.

“She’s been bouncing from house to house pretty much with them,” she said. “And she left them in that car all the time.”

Tulalip Tribe representatives said it will provide grief counseling and other services to family members of the children.

“My community is in shock over this, our hearts grieve for the family and the little girl who did not make it,” Sheldon said. “And our prayers are going out for the young lady that she makes it.”

Child Protective Services said recently investigated allegations that Carlson had abused Chantel, but they would not comment on why the case was closed.

Police are investigating the incident. The Everett Herald reported that FBI agents would offer assistance with the investigation.

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