Jacksonville woman found at OIA charged with her mother's death

Woman's son reported missing, endangered before found at airport


JACKSONVILLE BEACH, Fla. – A Florida missing child alert was canceled Friday evening after a Jacksonville Beach boy and his mother, who police wanted to question in her mother's death, were located at Orlando International Airport, authorities said.

The Jacksonville Beach Police Department said officers were called about 4 p.m. Friday to an apartment to conduct a well-being check. 

[READ: What is the difference between an AMBER Alert, Missing Child Alert]

Police said Barbara D'Andrea, 67, was found dead inside 39-year-old Marla D'Andrea's apartment. 

But when the body was found, police said, they could not find the younger D'Andrea -- whom police are calling a person of interest in the older woman's death -- or Marla D'Andrea's 7-year-old son, Luke Gjelaj, which prompted both the suspicious death investigation and the missing endangered child report to be issued.

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement issued the alert about 8 p.m. for Luke, who was believed to be with his mother. Investigators said the pair were traveling in a gray 2015 Hyundai Accent with Florida tag GZAW55 and heading to the Orlando area.

About an hour and half later, police said, the child was found safe with his mother at Orlando International Airport, police said. She was arrested and booked into the Orange County Jail. The woman was denied bond during her first appearance before a judge Sunday.

Police said Saturday afternoon that the 7-year-old boy was in the care of the Department of Children and Family Services and officials were working to make custody arrangements for him.


This article is courtesy of WJXT-TV.