Local News

Death of 11-year-old Sampson County girl ruled a homicide

Posted September 20, 2013

— The death of an 11-year-old girl who was found unresponsive in her bed in Salemburg on Sept. 6 has been ruled a homicide by the Sampson County medical examiner.

The Sampson County Sheriff’s Office confirmed Friday they are now investigating the case as a homicide.

At the time of her death, a family member told WRAL that the father of Mckenzie Mae Sessoms found her unresponsive when he tried to wake her for school, and she appeared to have suffocated.

"You have a healthy 11-year-old girl who is dead. That's not natural," said Cpl. Marcus Smith of the sheriff's office. "That's why we've been treating it as a suspicious death since then."

Sessoms was a fifth-grader at Salemburg Elementary School. She lived on Hairr Lane with her father and two adult brothers.

Her teachers said Sessoms loved horses and was popular with her classmates. One teacher, who did not want to be identified, said news of the death has left her many questions.

"I could not sleep. I have been restless for days," she said.

Family members declined to comment Friday.

Lakewood High School planned to honor Sessoms during their football game Friday night. Family members asked spectators to wear pink and purple, the girl's favorite colors.

45 Comments

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  • sjb2k1 Sep 20, 6:27 p.m.

    Are people getting sicker, or are we just hearing about sick people more and more?
    Scubagirl
    The latter. If it bleeds, it leads.

  • babbleon1 Sep 20, 5:59 p.m.

    My deepest sympathy to the family.

  • mojaintsmall Sep 20, 5:38 p.m.

    "Sleep in the father's arms, tended by his loving son."

    I wonder what they were doing that they were so busy not to watch over her and protect her? mojaintsmall

  • Scubagirl Sep 20, 5:35 p.m.

    "Okay folks, while it may very well end up that someone in the house did something to her, let's slow down on the jumping to conclusions! JEIAKC"

    Well SOMEBODY killed her, that's NOT jumping to conclusions!

  • jdupree Sep 20, 5:27 p.m.

    Too early to judge. The child will be sent to the State Med Examiner's office for a cause of death to be determined through autopsy. Local MEs just give their best guess. No one may have done anything. There are a lot of judgemental folks on this artical. As a parent, I feel a lot of sympathy for the parents and relatives for their loss and hope for a quick resolution to the questions about the death!

  • youpeoplearesoentertaining Sep 20, 4:51 p.m.

    Well said jackflash123....

  • HANS FOR PRESIDENT!!!!! JK Sep 20, 4:45 p.m.

    @iwontvote, I'm glad it did for you. I'm not trying to be funny. To each his own. I just don't think I'll ever be okay with the thought that a child can be taken in any way to fill a spot ANYWHERE else. If there's an afterlife, great. If it's better than this, great. But I think this life is great, and kids should have the chance to make it great for themselves, and for it to be brutally stripped from a child via violence or disease is something I'm not okay with

  • passport423 Sep 20, 4:40 p.m.

    I'm Christian. I find the idea many other Christians hold that God chooses people to call home to Heaven pretty unsettling. It's the evil in this world that led to young McKenzie's death. That's not God. God is the solution to that pain, not the cause of it. (jackflash123)

    Amen to that!

  • jackflash123 Sep 20, 4:15 p.m.

    "It uplifted my spirit and probably others too."

    I'm Christian. I find the idea many other Christians hold that God chooses people to call home to Heaven pretty unsettling. It's the evil in this world that led to young McKenzie's death. That's not God. God is the solution to that pain, not the cause of it.

  • DontVote4LiarsCheatsOrThieves Sep 20, 4:06 p.m.

    Nauti-dog - "Nice poem. I guess if it makes you feel better..."

    It uplifted my spirit and probably others too.

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