JACKSONVILLE BEACH, Fla. – A woman found dead in her daughter's Jacksonville Beach apartment was on the couch with a cord wrapped around her arm and a bed comforter covering her face, according to an arrest warrant affidavit obtained by News4Jax.
Barbara D'Andrea's daughter, Marla D'Andrea, 39, is being held without bond in the Duval County jail on a charge of second-degree murder in the death of her mother.
According to the arrest warrant, Marla D'Andrea called a friend of her mother to say the friend needed to come pick up her mother's dogs. The friend asked to speak to Barbara, 67, but Marla said she couldn't give her mother the phone, police said.
The friend tried unsuccessfully to call Barbara, and then in another call with Marla, the 39-year-old admitted she'd killed her mother, police said.
The friend then called police, who found Barbara dead June 30 in Marla's apartment at the corner of 10th Street North and First Avenue North. After Barbara's body was found in Marla's apartment, police notified the Florida Department of Law Enforcement that Marla D'Andrea and her son were missing.
About an hour and a half after FDLE issued a missing and endangered child alert, police said the child was found safe with Marla D'Andrea at Orlando International Airport and they were taken into custody without incident.
Marla D'Andrea's son was unharmed and in good health, police said. He was placed in the custody of the Department of Children and Families.
Court records show D'Andrea had two previous arrests and she was Baker-acted in 2016 and her son was removed from the home. Neighbors said she had recently regained custody of the boy.
Her attorney, Randy Reep, told News4Jax that Marla D'Andrea's mental health will be a key part of her defense. He said it doesn't help when someone leaves town after a crime, but that it's early in the investigation and no one should jump to conclusions.
"She enjoys the presumption of innocence, and just because she was in a place at a particular time doesn’t meant that she’s guilty of anything," Reep said. "This is at the very beginning of a case. She’s going to plead innocent and we’re going to work that case up to find that to be the ultimate conclusion."
D'Andrea will be back in court July 26.
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