Police: 10-year-old girl died of starvation

LAWRENCEVILLE, Ga. -- Police said Monday that 10-year-old Emani Moss, whose body was found badly burned in a trash can in a Lawrenceville apartment complex Saturday, had died of starvation.

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Officials said they were awaiting a coroner's report for additional information, but they said the girl's remains were extremely emaciated when they were found.

Emani's body was found badly burned in a trash can at the Coventry Pointe Apartments on Veranda Chase Drive in Lawrenceville Saturday morning.

Monday, investigators said it appeared her body was placed in the trash can to conceal her death, and that her body had been in the can for "more than a couple of hours."

Gwinnett County detectives say the Emani was isolated from people outside her family and did not attend school for weeks leading up to her death.

Emani's father, Eman Moss and her stepmother, Tiffany Moss, were arrested and charged with felony murder. Their arrest warrants said they "maliciously caused cruel or excessive physical pain or excessive mental pain as follows: the defendants denied the victim enough food to live."

Both defendants had been previously arrested for violent acts -- Eman was arrested in 2004 for battery and two counts of misdemeanor cruelty to children. Investigators said he beat his ex-wife in front of Emani in that instance. Tiffany Moss was arrested in 2010 on a count of felony cruelty to children.

Robin Moss, the grandmother of 10-year-old Emani Moss, says they suspected the girl was being abused by her parents and tried to get custody, but were refused by state authorities.

Moss says she called the Department of Family and Children's Services about a month after the girl's father, Eman Moss, and his wife, Tiffany, got married.

Moss told 11Alive's Duffie Dixon she was called to the school after a teacher reported that Emani had been beaten.

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Moss says the parents had to go to parenting classes, and that she tried to persuade DFCS to let her have Emani.

"I don't understand how the system kept putting her back in that home," Moss said.

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Moss says she helped raise Emani from the time she was about 4 years old, and that the two had a bond that was more like mother and daughter than grandparent and grandchild.

Investigators said they had beencalled to the apartment complex by Eman Moss.

He told police he had planned to commit suicide because his daughter had died after drinking some type of chemical. However, detectives reviewed the 911 call and have determined that Moss was not suicidal; that information was based on an initial miscommunication.

When police got to the complex, Moss came outside into the breezeway and pointed to a trash can in the recreation area.

When officers lifted the lid, they found the burned body of a young girl.

Moss and Emani's stepmother, Tiffany Moss, have been arrested and charged with felony murder, cruelty to children in the first degree and concealing a body.

Both are being held at the Gwinnett County Detention Center.


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