Investigators Believe Girl Found In Trash Can Died Of Starvation

Arrested | Eman & Tiffany Moss
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CBS Atlanta News Copy

LAWRENCEVILLE, GA (CBS ATLANTA) - Police in Gwinnett County released preliminary findings from their early investigative work Monday on the case of a 10-year-old girl who was found dead in a trash can early Saturday morning. Ten-year-old Emani Moss was severely burned, a result of her family trying to conceal the body, said investigator CJ Flynn.

"We believe she may have been deceased as early as Wednesday of last week," said Flynn.

"What we've learned is that the victim appeared extremely emaciated and skinny, and through our investigation we were able to determine that she was not fed regularly and that was a contributing factor, or the factor, for her death."

The victim's father Eman Moss and stepmother Tiffany were arrested and charged in connection with the girl's death. There were red flags of abuse against Emani Moss going back at least three years, prior to her passing.

Tiffany Moss was arrested in 2010 on a charge of cruelty to children. Emani was 6 years old at the time, and one of her counselors at Cooper Elementary School noticed signs of abuse, and reported it to police.

In 2012, a report of child abuse was filed against Emani's step-mother, but no charges were ever filed, and the case was handed off to the state Division of Family and Children Services, according to Gwinnett County Police. It is unclear why the girl was not removed from the home following those incidents.

Associated Press Release

LAWRENCEVILLE, Ga. (AP) -- Police say the body of a 10-year-old girl has been found in a trash can at a metro Atlanta apartment complex.

Gwinnett County police Sgt. Brian Doan confirmed in an email that a man called 911 early Saturday morning and said he was suicidal and his daughter was dead.

Doan says officers responding to the call found the girl's body in a trash can at the Lawrenceville apartment complex. Doan says the girl's body appeared to have been burned.

Doan says investigators were questioning the girl's father and his apartment was being searched, but he has not been charged. The names of the girl and her father were not immediately released.

Doan says the cause of death won't be known until an autopsy is performed.

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