CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - A Charlotte mother has been arrested in the 2018 beating death of her 7-year-old daughter in Florida.
According to the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office, 26-year-old Janee Dickson was arrested on a charge of aggravated manslaughter of a child Friday in Charlotte.
Officials say she is in custody in Mecklenburg County pending extradition to Volusia County, Florida.
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. Officials say 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, officials say Dickson explained that Kamia was injured while playing on the slide at a playground. However, during the investigation, Dickson’s boyfriend told detectives that Dickson struck Kamia on multiple occasions, to an extent that exceeded parental discipline.
As the investigation continued, officials say Dickson changed her story and admitted to detectives that Kamia had been physically disciplined, but she claimed it was her boyfriend who disciplined her.
“She described a March 5 incident in a vehicle, when Kamia kept asking to stop and use the bathroom. Dickson said her boyfriend drove to a 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,” a press release from the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office reads.
Detectives used GPS data from the phones of Dickson, the boyfriend and Kamia to determine their locations on March 5, confirming their travel around the DeLand, Florida 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, officials say 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. Officials say 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.
Officials say 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, officials say Dickson replied, “Basically, yeah.”
Dickson said that on March 7, her boyfriend got rid of the items used in the beating as well as Kamia’s clothes and personal items. The boyfriend denied all of Dickson’s allegations and maintained that he never struck Kamia in any way.
Officials say 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.
The investigation into this case will continue, and additional charges are possible.