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Records show history of abuse of girl found burned in trash can

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Updated: 11/05/2013 10:22 am
GWINNETT COUNTY, Ga. (WSB-TV) -- The Georgia Department of Children and Family Services won't talk about its investigations or involvement in allegations of abuse involving a 10-year-old Gwinnett County girl.

On Saturday, Emani Moss' body was found starved to death and burned in a trash can.

Her father and stepmother have been charged with murder and child cruelty.

"It appears the victim was emaciated," said Gwinnett County Police Detective Collin Flynn.

Flynn said Tiffany and Eman Moss supposedly home schooled the child and did not feed her regularly.

In an arrest warrant, police tell a judge did not feed the child between Oct. 24 and Saturday.

On Saturday, police said Eman Moss called police threatening suicide. When officers arrived at the apartment complex on Veranda Chase Drive, they said Moss directed them to a trash can where they found the burned body of his daughter.

"We believe she may have been deceased as early as Wednesday of last week. After she was deceased, we believe her body was put into a trash can and it was burned in an attempt to dispose of the body," Flynn said.

Channel 2's Tony Thomas dug through court records Monday and found Emani, police and school administrators had reported abuse to the state at least two times in the past three years.

In 2011, court records show Tiffany Moss was sentenced to five years' probation after pleading guilty to charges she beat the then 6-year-old Emani with a belt.

The case originated after a teacher at Moss's school noticed bruises and welts on the child.

In the court hearing Monday, her lawyer told the judge DFACS had dismissed the case after Moss and her husband had taken parenting classes.

In July of 2012, Emani herself complained to a Gwinnett County officer.

The officer wrote in a report about the runaway: "She did not like living at home anymore. The victim said she had been tied to a chair with two of her belts and placed under a cold shower by the suspect."

Tiffany Moss was not charged in that case.

"We could not prove that it occurred. However, that report was forwarded to DFACS for investigation or follow-up," said Cpl. Ed Ritter with the Gwinnett County Police Department.

Channel 2 Action News filed an open records request with the state for the investigative files involving the Moss family, but so far no reply has been received.

Gov. Nathan Deal responded to questions about the case Monday morning.

"It is a real tragedy. We're talking with our department of family and children services, what we can do better to make sure these numbers of deaths are reduced," Deal said.

Eman and Tiffany Moss remain jailed on murder charges.

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