Death of Florida girl, 9, being investigated as homicide: sheriff's office

A 9-year-old girl was found dead in her father’s home, and now, detectives with the Lake County Sheriff’s Office are treating their inquiry into her death as a homicide investigation.

It’s been a week since Althea Amanda Chenault first got the call about the death of her granddaughter, Jamaria Session. Still, she has no answers about how the little girl died.

"You fell in love with her as soon as you meet her – with those glasses, she'll talk, and she’ll have an expression on her face," Chenault told FOX 35 News. "She always laughed. She is so sweet."

Chenault said her granddaughter was just "a baby," who had her whole life ahead of her. 

"Nobody contacted me at all to say anything about what happened, how it happened, ‘Was it an accident? Was it not an accident?’ We won’t know until the autopsy comes back."

A FOX 35 news crew could see that the entryways of that home — including the door, the windows, and the garage — were all taped off with tamper-evident evidence markers. We also saw Lake County Animal Control stop by the house and put an envelope on the door.


Neighbors told FOX 35 they were shocked, confused, and scared. They can’t believe something like this may have happened here.

The family had also recently lost Jamaria’s mother and Chenault’s daughter, Tadrina Dort. She died when she was just 24 years old after a fight with leukemia.

Chenault had just gone through a custody battle with the father with whom Jamaria was staying.

The family told us the sheriff’s office warned them an autopsy could take six to eight weeks to come back. They can’t move forward to officially declare this a homicide investigation and potentially charge anyone until the medical examiner determines the cause of death.