Skip to main content

Police: Girl, 10, may have been dead for days before body found in trash

By Greg Botelho, CNN
updated 5:37 AM EST, Wed November 6, 2013
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • The death of 10-year-old Georgia girl found in a trash can is ruled a homicide
  • She appears underweight; authorities think she'd been denied food
  • Her body was found Saturday; she may have died three days earlier, police say
  • Police: The girl's father, stepmother are charged with murder in her death

(CNN) -- A 10-year-old Georgia girl may have been dead for days -- having likely been starved well before that -- before her charred body was discovered in a trash can, police said Tuesday.

Eman Moss, the father of young Emani Moss pointed Gwinnett County police early Saturday to her body in the trash of a Lawrenceville apartment complex.

By then, she may have been dead for days, authorities say.

Emani may have died as early as October 30, county police said Tuesday while reporting the results of an autopsy.

The state of the girl's body indicated she was severely underweight, with investigators determining she had been denied food for several days before her death.

Detectives found Emani had been isolated from everyone but her family in recent weeks. Officials said she had not attended school this school year.

Detectives said they believe Emani was burned to cover up her killing.

The Gwinnett County Medical Examiner's Office ruled her death a homicide, though it is waiting for additional test results before pinning down a cause of death.

The episode began with a 911 call around 3:40 a.m. Saturday from a man now believed to be Emani's father. Police first reported he was suicidal, but on Tuesday indicated that was not the case.

The man told dispatchers there was a body with him. His young daughter, he said, had drunk some type of chemical and died.

Gwinnett County police headed to the family's residence in Lawrenceville, a city of about 29,000 people some 30 miles northeast of Atlanta.

They found the man who apparently had made the call standing outside a building in an apartment complex. Police said he directed officers to a trash can in a recreation area where the girl's body was found.

The slain girl's father and her stepmother, Tiffany Moss, were arrested. Gwinnett County police announced Saturday evening that both are charged with felony murder, first-degree cruelty to children and concealing a body.

In July: Man admits killing Louisiana girl found in trash can

CNN's Jennifer Feldman and John Branch contributed to this report.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
updated 10:21 AM EST, Thu November 27, 2014
The first human trial of an experimental Ebola vaccine has produced promising results, U.S. scientists said.
updated 9:15 AM EST, Thu November 27, 2014
Darren Wilson, the police officer who fatally shot unarmed black teen in August abandoned home after address made public.
updated 5:36 PM EST, Tue November 25, 2014
HBO -- backing a documentary based on "Going Clear," a book about Scientology and Hollywood -- isn't taking any chances with legal side.
updated 2:35 PM EST, Wed November 26, 2014
Grandmaster Nguyen Van Chieu has devoted his adult life to spreading the word about Vietnames martial art, Vovinam.
updated 1:47 PM EST, Fri November 28, 2014
England cricketer Nick Compton shares insight into "drive and courage" it takes to face fears as top batsman.
updated 7:59 PM EST, Wed November 26, 2014
Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson says he was just doing his "job right" when he shot and killed black teenager Michael Brown.
updated 8:18 PM EST, Sun November 23, 2014
The interior of the Formosa Boulevard Mass Rapid Transit Station in Kaohsiung, in southern Taiwan.
Stunning stations where your first priority won't be finding the nearest exit.
updated 6:18 PM EST, Tue November 25, 2014
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says women's "nature is different," sparking fury.
updated 5:43 AM EST, Mon November 24, 2014
A 30-year-old woman has been charged with attempting to kill a baby police say spent five days down a drain before being discovered by cyclists.
updated 8:21 PM EST, Thu November 20, 2014
If it wasn't for a comic's skit, Bill Cosby would still be America's favorite father, says expert.
updated 7:51 PM EST, Sun November 23, 2014
Where do hip young things hang out in Taiwan?
updated 10:50 AM EST, Fri November 21, 2014
Obama orders the most sweeping overhaul of U.S. immigration in decades, prioritizing the deportation of "felons, not families."
updated 4:06 PM EST, Tue November 18, 2014
Fighters loyal to ISIS are now in control of Derna, a city on Libya's Mediterranean coast.
updated 6:19 PM EST, Fri November 21, 2014
China and likely other countries have the capacity to shut down the U.S. power grid, says the NSA.
updated 2:45 PM EST, Wed November 19, 2014
The founder of a U.S. nonprofit that works with returning soldiers is named CNN's Hero of the Year.
updated 12:54 PM EST, Fri November 28, 2014
Each day, CNN brings you an image capturing a moment to remember, defining the present in our changing world.
Browse through images from CNN teams around the world that you don't always see on news reports.
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT