Amber Lynn Dodd, a 26-year-old Deltona woman who abandoned her 86-year-old grandmother at a Palm Coast gas station late Saturday night and drove on, is now facing a felony elderly neglect charge, though she has not been arrested.
The two had been driving for several hours. They’d been visiting family in Virginia. They’d also had arguments. According to a Flagler County Sheriff’s report, Dodd had been demanding that her grandmother sign over a deed to her home. The woman refused, upsetting Dodd. They’d stopped at the BP gas station on Palm Harbor Parkway. The older woman refused to get back in the car: her granddaughter had been yelling at her, and the volume of the music in the car had been too high. Dodd wouldn’t turn it down when asked.
“I told her I was going to leave her and she still didn’t get in the car,” Dodd told a sheriff’s deputy, who contacted her by phone. “So I left her because I’ve been driving with her and my daughter for six hours and I have to get home.” Dodd drove back to Deltona, where the family lives on Parma Drive.
When the deputy advised Dodd to drive back to Palm Coast to pick up her grandmother, Dodd said it would be a few hours. (The distance from Deltona to Palm Coast is about 55 miles, or less than an hour’s drive.)
A deputy contacted the Family Life Center, the shelter for victims of abuse, and took her there for the night. Dodd, the report states, ” displayed a blatant disregard for the well-being and safety of her 86 year old grandmother by leaving her at a location without any way to provide for herself, i.e. no phone, money, transportation, in a foreign area, deliberately placing her in danger, which did and would cause any reasonable person psychological and mental
distress.” The behavior was “an effort to coerce her into signing over her residence,” resulting in the criminal charge.
“It is disgusting that a granddaughter thought that she could coerce her elderly grandmother into signing over the deed to her home and when she wouldn’t, she abandoned her in an area that she did not know,” Sheriff Rick Staly said. “Fortunately, she was abandoned in Flagler County where we take elder abuse very seriously and now Dodd can explain her actions to the judge.” Dodd is apparently not a stranger to Flagler, nor to its court system: when she was a teenager eight years ago she lived on Russo Drive, and was assessed a fine for hanging out at Shell Bluff Park, the county park, after hours (she was spotted there near 2 a.m. one Saturday morning.) She paid the fine.