A North Carolina woman has been arrested in the 2018 beating death of her 7-year-old daughter in the DeLand area.
Janee Dickson, 26 (DOB 5/24/1993), of Charlotte, N.C., was arrested on a charge of aggravated manslaughter of a child today in Charlotte. She is in custody in Mecklenburg County pending extradition to Volusia County.
Dickson is charged in connection to the death of 7-year-old Kamia Jean-Baptiste in March 2018. Volusia sheriff’s detectives started investigating the case on March 6, 2018, after Kamia was airlifted from Florida Hospital DeLand to Florida Hospital South in Orlando (both now AdventHealth hospitals). Kamia had injuries and visible trauma that indicated she had been physically abused.
Kamia died the following day, March 7. An autopsy determined 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.
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. She 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. 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.
Williams denied all of Dickson’s allegations and maintained that he never struck Kamia in any way.
The investigation into this case will continue, and additional charges are possible. Dickson’s charge of aggravated manslaughter is based on clear evidence that she contributed to Kamia’s death by neglecting to provide any care to her despite either observing or causing her injuries.