A 38-year-old woman pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and criminal mistreatment in the death of her 19-month old daughter who perished after she was left in a car without supervision for several hours, according to federal prosecutors.
Christina D. Carlson, an enrolled member of the Tulalip Tribe, told investigators that she had been living in her car with the toddler and her 33-month-old daughter when she left the girls alone on Oct. 8, 2012, to search for drugs, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
When she returned to the car parked on Marine Drive Northeast on the Tulalip Tribal Reservation a few hours later, the younger child was unconscious and unresponsive, according to police and court records.
Medics arrived to find the child on the ground on a blanket with Carlson attempting CPR, police said.
According to court documents, the girl was covered in urine and feces. She was also malnourished, dehydrated and infested with lice, according to court records.
The 33-month old child, who was found pale and unresponsive strapped in a child safety seat, was also covered in urine and feces, police and prosecutors said. Carlson pleaded guilty to one count of neglect in connection with the older child’s treatment, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.
Under the plea agreement, prosecutors and defense attorneys agreed to recommend a prison sentence of eight to 13 years, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.
However, U.S. District Judge James L. Robart is not obligated to follow that recommendation and could impose any sentence up to life in prison.
Carlson, who is currently in the Federal Detention Center, is scheduled to be sentenced July 21.