Person of interest in Jax Beach death, missing son found at Orlando airport

Marla D'Andrea faces second degree murder charges

By Francesca Amiker - Reporter

JACKSONVILLE BEACH, Fla. - A Florida missing child alert was canceled Friday evening after a Jacksonville Beach boy and his mother, who is wanted for questioning in connection with a woman's death, were located at Orlando International Airport, authorities said. 

According to the Jacksonville Beach Police Department, officers were called about 4 p.m. Friday to an apartment at the corner of 10th Street North and First Avenue North, just north of Beach Boulevard, to investigate a suspicious death, in combination with a missing and endangered child.

Police said a woman was found dead inside 39-year-old Marla D'Andrea's apartment after officers received a welfare request. 

But when the body was found, police said, they could not find D'Andrea -- whom police are calling a person of interest in the death -- or D'Andrea's 7-year-old son, Luke Gjelaj.

A source told News4Jax that the woman who died is D'Andrea's mother, however, police have not confirmed that as of Friday evening. 

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement issued a missing child alert about 8 p.m. for 7-year-old 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 and they were taken into custody without incident.  

One of D'Andrea's Jacksonville Beach neighbors, who wished to remain anonymous, said she kept to herself.

"She had a lot of small dogs, like Chihuahuas. She was really friendly and nice when she did talk to me. That's why I can't believe this happened, especially right behind where I live at the beach," the neighbor said. "I heard a couple of times some heated arguments. It was very occasional."

Anyone with information is asked to call the Jacksonville Beach Police Department at 904-270-1661.

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