ACCOMACK COUNTY, Va. (WAVY) — Investigators believe a 40-year-old woman set fire to the home in Accomack County where she lived and where a man was found dead.
Virginia State Police said Kimiko Tenallie Dickerson was arrested and charged with second-degree murder and arson in the death of her uncle, 59-year-old Delbert Dickerson. Both resided at the home.
State police said crews responded to the fire around 8 p.m. Thursday in the 31000 block of Bishop Road in New Church, near the Maryland line, and found Delbert Dickerson dead inside.
State Police are leading the investigation at the request of the Accomack County Sheriff’s Office. At this time it’s unclear whether Delbert died in the fire, or beforehand. A VSP spokeswoman says pending autopsy results will help make that determination.
10 On Your Side contacted Kimiko’s mother, Monica Core, late Friday afternoon.
“Make sure you mention that Kimiko has mental illness,” Core said. She described several conditions her daughter struggles with: bipolar disorder, paranoid schizophrenia and multiple personality disorder.
“She takes meds that I can’t even pronounce,” Core said. “I hope she’s getting them in jail.”
Cousin Jeffery Dickerson lives three doors down on Bishop Road and did say that Kimiko was not taking her medicine lately, although he said he was not aware of any history of animosity between the two.
Core said she knew of one time when her daughter struck her uncle about five years ago, but that it was not typical behavior.
Core says her daughter’s mental illness began worsening about 12 years ago. Prior to that, the 6-foot-tall Kimiko had aspired to be a model and auditioned for the TV show America’s Top Model, according to her mother. She had also worked as a school nurse.
Kimiko and Delbert lived in the home right off U.S. 13 with Delbert’s sister and the sister’s son, and the Dickerson family has lived in the area since the mid-1960s, according to Jeffery Dickerson. He said the fire started between 5 and 5:30 p.m. Thursday.
Kimiko Dickerson is currently in the Accomack County Jail. She was denied bond. She is scheduled for a court appearance Monday at 1:30 p.m.
“The whole family is shocked,” Core said.
Stay with WAVY.com for updates.