Daughter charged with leaving 63-year-old, paralyzed mom in car in D.C. for 16 hours

A 29-year-old woman was charged Wednesday with abandoning her disabled mother in a car for 16 hours on a day when temperatures rose to 95, according to court documents.

D.C. police said in an affidavit that Teresa L. Channelder called them about 5 a.m. Tuesday and reported that her car and 63-year-old mother were missing. Channelder told police that she had parked in the 4700 block of Georgia Avenue NW several hours earlier, on Monday night, and that she had left her mother in the vehicle while she went into a store about 10:20 p.m.

Police learned that Channelder’s mother had previously suffered a stroke and remained paralyzed on her right side and could not drive, documents said.

After receiving Channelder’s phone call, police began searching for the vehicle and Channelder’s mother and issued an online critical missing persons alert.

About 2:30 p.m. Tuesday, a D.C. police detective followed Channelder from the area where she reported the car missing to the 1200 block of Jefferson Street NW, where the detective saw her walk to her car and lean inside.

Police found her mother there, suffering from dehydration and extreme sweating and sitting in urine and feces, court documents said.

Authorities took the mother to a hospital, and police arrested Channelder. During an interview with investigators, she denied leaving her mother in the car. She said someone may have taken her other car key and the vehicle as she shopped in the store and met a friend.

Officials charged Channelder with criminal abuse of a vulnerable adult and criminal negligence.

The lawyer listed in court records as representing Channelder said he was not in court for his client’s initial appearance in D.C. Superior Court on Wednesday and declined to comment further until he is briefed by the lawyer he said temporarily took his place.

Channelder was released pending a hearing scheduled for Aug. 7 and was ordered to stay away from her mother.

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Clarence Williams is the night police reporter for The Washington Post and has spent the better part of 13 years standing next to crime scene tape, riding in police cars or waking officials in the middle of night to gather information about breaking news in and around Washington.
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