Mother charged in beating death of 7-year-old girl in DeLand

Deputies say suspect didn’t seek help for girl until she was cold, limp

VOLUSIA COUNTY, Fla. – A mother who failed to seek medical help as her daughter’s health continued to deteriorate after an extended beating is being charged in connection with the girl’s death, according to the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office.

Deputies said Janee Dickson, 26, brought 7-year-old Kamia Jean-Baptiste to an area hospital on March 6, 2018 and she was airlifted to another hospital to receive treatment for trauma.

Jean-Baptiste died the next day and her death was ruled a homicide due to blunt force trauma. Records show she suffered hemorrhaging on her legs and back that was believed to be the result of physical abuse.

Dickson initially said her daughter was injured while playing on a slide but eventually admitted that her boyfriend abused the child on multiple occasions, according to a news release.

She said on March 5, 2018, she was with Jean-Baptiste and her boyfriend in the car and her boyfriend got upset that the child kept asking for them to stop to use the restroom, so he pulled over to a side street in the DeLand area, yanked the girl from the car and beat her with a blunt object for 15 to 20 minutes, records show.

Deputies said they then got back in the car and he drove to Beresford Cemetery, where he beat her again for another 30 minutes using the same blunt object and a second item.

GPS data confirmed that Dickson, her boyfriend and her daughter were in those areas at that time, according to authorities.

Deputies said Dickson noticed her daughter was having trouble breathing, she was constantly thirsty and she couldn’t sleep but she didn’t seek medical attention until the next morning when she noticed Jean-Baptiste’s body had gone limp, she was cold to the touch, her head was tilted and her eyes were glossed over.

Dickson believed her daughter might have “basically” died before she took her to the hospital, records show.

The same day that Jean-Baptiste was declared dead by doctors, Dickson’s boyfriend got rid of the items used in the beatings and the girl’s clothes, according to a news release.

Dickson’s boyfriend has denied the allegations. He is not facing charges at this time, although deputies said additional charges could be filed in the case.

Dickson was arrested Friday in North Carolina on a manslaughter charge. She will be extradited to Volusia County.

Volusia County Sheriff Mike Chitwood posted on Facebook about Jean-Baptiste’s death, writing that it’s hard to forgive the person responsible.

“Whoever committed the acts of violence, we know Kamia suffered a series of beatings beyond anything any parent, or any person, could ever imagine inflicting upon any child,” Chitwood wrote.

He said Jean-Baptiste was innocent and defenseless.

“Today I admit I am filled with anger on behalf of the innocent child in this photo, because she never got a chance to find out what else her life had to offer. I believe in my heart that day was not the first time she was abused. So I am not only grieving for the life she lost, but my heart is also broken for the pain, hopelessness and despair she must have felt while she was alive,” he said.

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