WASHINGTON (WJLA) - Teresa Channelder, 29, is being accused of leaving her disabled mother in a car overnight as the sun broke and temperatures soared past 95 degrees. The 63-year-old woman is a stroke survivor who was still inside that car unnoticed and in distress until 4 p.m.
Channelder was in court on Wednesday and released on her own personal recognizance; she had nothing to say in her defense.
This woman lives on Jefferson Street NW, and a 2001 Oldsmobile Alero was parked in front of her home. She had walked her dog around midnight, and then again yesterday afternoon, but saw nothing - at first:
"I didn't see anybody in the car -- by the time I got back five minutes later, there were all these police cars."
The shocking twist to the story is that the daughter, Channelder, had reported her mother missing Monday night. She told police she went to a convenience store in the 4700 block of Georgia Avenue Monday, and when she walked out, she said her mother and the car were both gone.
She explained that her mother was unable to drive, and court documents late revealed that the mother was paralyzed on the right side of her body.
In the midst of a critical missing person search and the heat on Tuesday, D.C. Police sent the mother's picture to all media outlets, setting up a command post and checking all hospitals as well as interviewing neighbors.
Sources tell ABC7 that it was an Alert Youth Division detective who decided to follow Channelder after her interviews, which were described as inconsistent. He watched as she walked to Jefferson Avenue -- right to the car where her mother was inside.
Court records revealed the elderly woman was suffering from dehydration, extreme sweating, and had been sitting in her own urine and feces for approximately 16 hours.
We managed to track down the mother's older sister in North Carolina, and she says Channelder just recently brought her mother to D.C. from North Carolina.
"For the money I guess," Arabelle Parker told ABC7 when asked why. "She needed a check, I guess...that's all I could see."
Her sister says she is shocked to hear what happened, but hopes justice is served: "I don't mean no harm, she deserves everything they give her. She's a bad person, it's terrible."