North Carolina woman arrested in 2018 beating death of her 7-year-old daughter in Florida
VOLUSIA COUNTY, Fla. — A North Carolina woman was arrested in connection with the 2018 beating death of her 7-year-old daughter in the DeLand, Florida area.
Janee Dickson, 26, of Charlotte, North Carolina was arrested Friday, Feb. 14 on a charge of aggravated manslaughter of a child in Charlotte. She was in custody in Mecklenburg County, N.C., pending extradition to Volusia County, Florida.
Dickson was charged in connection to the death of 7-year-old Kamia Jean-Baptiste in March 2018.
Sheriff’s officials began investigating on March 6, 2018, after Kamia was airlifted from one Florida hospital to another — with injuries and visible trauma that indicated she had been physically abused. She died the next day.
According to the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office, an autopsy revealed she had hemorrhaging of the soft tissue in her legs, back, and backside, which were likely a result of physical abuse. The cause of death listed in the autopsy report was blunt force trauma, and the manner of death was ruled homicide.
During interviews with detectives, Dickson explained that Kamia was injured while playing on the slide at a playground. However, during the investigation, Dickson’s boyfriend Brandon Williams told detectives that Dickson struck Kamia on multiple occasions, to an extent that exceeded parental discipline, sheriff’s officials said.
As the investigation continued, Dickson changed her story and admitted to detectives that Kamia had been physically disciplined, but she claimed it was Williams who disciplined her.
According to sheriff’s officials, Dickson described a March 5 incident in a vehicle, when Kamia kept asking to stop and use the bathroom. Dickson said Williams drove to a DeLand-area side street, pulled Kamia out of the car and beat her for 15 to 20 minutes with a blunt object. Then, she said he drove to Beresford Cemetery and beat her again for 30 minutes with the same object, along with a second object.
Detectives used GPS data from the phones of Dickson, Williams, and Kamia to determine their locations on March 5, confirming their travel around the DeLand area on the evening of March 5, and their eventual arrival at the hospital at 8:44 a.m. March 6.
By her own account, Dickson did not call 911 or seek emergency help for Kamia during the beatings, or afterward, even though she noticed Kamia was having trouble breathing all night, sheriff’s officials said. She said Kamia was constantly thirsty and couldn’t sleep. Dickson said in the morning, she noticed that Kamia’s body had gone limp, she was cold to the touch, her head tilted, and her eyes were open, but glossed over and unresponsive. That’s when she decided to take Kamia to the hospital. When asked if she thought Kamia had died before she took her to the hospital, Dickson replied, “Basically, yeah.”
Dickson said that on March 7, Williams got rid of the items used in the beating as well as Kamia’s clothes and personal items, sheriff’s officials said.
Williams denied all of Dickson’s allegations and maintained that he never struck Kamia in any way, according to sheriff’s officials.
Volusia County sheriff’s officials noted in a press release Friday additional charges were possible.
Sheriff Mike Chitwood wrote a lengthy post about the case on social media: