Adoptive grandmother of Sabrina Ray charged with escaping prison

Local News

One of the family members who admitted to neglecting 16-year-old Sabrina Ray attempted to escape prison in early May, according to court records. 

64-year-old Carla Bousman, Sabrina Ray’s adoptive grandmother, pleaded guilty to false imprisonment and child endangerment in April 2018. Bousman received a 20-year prison sentence

Sabrina Ray was found dead inside her family’s Perry home in May 2017, weighing only 56 pounds. The Iowa State Medical Examiner attributed her death to severe malnutrition.

According to a criminal complaint in Polk County, staff at the Iowa Correctional Institution for Women in Mitchellville reported that Bousman left the facility’s grounds around 7:45 a.m. on May 2.

Bousman was allegedly heading east into Mitchellville before being apprehended approximately a half-mile away from the institution, the complaint reads.

MORE: Adoptive parents of Sabrina Ray must pay back over $76,000 in adoption subsidies

The Polk County Attorney’s Office has charged Bousman with a felony count of Escape from Custody – Felon. 

Bousman was transported and booked into the Polk County Jail this week.

Sabrina Ray’s adoptive parents, Marc and Misty Ray, were sentenced in January for their role in Sabrina’s death.

Other members of the family—including adoptive brother Justin Ray and cousin Josie Bousman—also pleaded guilty in the case and have been sentenced to prison.


“On May 2nd, 2019, Bousman was witnessed walking away from the “minimum live-out” unit that she had been placed in. 

These units are outside the prison fence, and allow for incarcerated people to work jobs outside of the institution under supervision during the day, and return to the facility at night.  

Once staff noticed her walking away from the facility, they communicated the incident via radio, and she was picked up by staff within minutes without further incident. 

The department treats these incidents very seriously, hence the pressing of escape charges in Polk County.”

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