CPS file outlines past allegations against dead toddler's mother

CPS file outlines past allegations against dead toddler's mother »Play Video
Christina Carlson (right), shrouded in a red blanket, is comforted by her attorney during last month's court hearing.
SEATTLE -- The mother of a toddler found dead inside a car last month has a history of allegations of neglect, according to newly-released information from Child Protective Services.

Christina Carlson, 36, was arrested last month after her 18-month-old daughter, Chantel Craig, was found unconscious and unresponsive inside a car with her 2-year-old sister on the Tulalip Indian Reservation.

Chantel was later pronounced dead. Her sister was treated for dehydration, and expected to recover.

Carlson pleaded not guilty in her daughter's death. But according to her 178-page CPS file, allegations of neglect date back to December 2011 when a maternal grandmother reported her.

The grandmother claimed Carlson only gave the girls a bottle without any solid food. She also said the older child had lice and could not walk because she was always left in a walker. The report also states the mother would leave the children in a playpen and drink.

The CPS file includes a startling timeline leading up to the days before the death of Carlson's daughter.

On Dec. 6, 2011, case workers could not locate Carlson. In January 2012, Carlson and the children's father agreed to treatment, and a visit in February found the children and the apartment clean.

But when a case worker made an unannounced visit in May, no one was home. By July, the home was boarded up.

Then on Sept. 18, the investigation was closed for an undisclosed reason.

Less than a month later, the two children found alone in a car in need of medical attention.

Carlson remains in jail, awaiting trial for criminal endangerment and failure to care for the children.

Because the child died after CPS closed its investigation, its fatality review board will review the case file.