The grandmother of a 10-year-old Gwinnett County girl found stuffed in a garbage can said she's still learning more about the abuse the girl suffered before her death.
The body of Emani Moss was found burned and in a trash can outside of Lawrenceville apartment early Saturday. Police said she died from prolonged starvation, but also said she had been beaten repeatedly over the years.
Police have charged the girl's father, Eman Moss, and stepmother, Tiffany Moss, with murder in the death.
FOX 5 has uncovered several warning signs that Emani's life was danger that were either overlooked or ignored. Emani's grandmother, Robin Moss, said her heart sinks with each new discovery.
Back in 2004, when Emani was still a baby and her parents were fighting for her custody, her mother, Danita Leaks, wrote a letter to the Gwinnett County judge handling the case.
The letter, which is part of the official record, said of the girl's father, "Eman is a very violent person and demonstrates physical violence when he cannot get his way with me, in that he will argue, rant, rave and cause physical harm to my person when enraged."
About that same time in 2004, Gwinnett police arrested Eman Moss on battery and child cruelty charges.
By 2010, he was married to Tiffany Moss. That year, she was convicted of child cruelty after Emani went to school with bruises and scratches on her body.
Yet after every one of the warning signs, the state sent Emani back to her father.
"She had every sign -- every sign -- and no one listened," said Robin Moss.
Some of the signs were more subtle. In Leaks' 2004 letter, she accused Eman of trying to take Emani out of her life, claiming, "He even went as far as to have his phone number changed and moved to an anonymous location to keep the baby away from me and out of my grasp."
Robin Moss said she went through the same thing. She says after Tiffany Moss' 2010 conviction, her son took his family into hiding and she only saw Emani a few times in the three years since.
"Every day they're finding more and more things that people saw, but never reported, that I didn't know. But I knew something was wrong," Robin Moss said.
Georgia's Division of Family and Children Services is conducting an internal investigation into how it handled the case.
Robin Moss says she can still hear the voice of her granddaughter and hopes her case can help others.
"Her voice is telling me that we need to go out there and save these children," Robin Moss said. "Listen to them. They tell you in their emotions, they tell you in how they walk. Even if they don't look at you in the eye, you know something is wrong."
Emani's grandmother said it's time to focus not on the girl's death, but on her life. Robin Moss said she's struggling to pay for the memorial service that she would like to coordinate. She hopes to find a place other than the apartment where she died to have a candlelight vigil for everyone touched by Emani's tragic death
"I don't want to take her back to where she was, I want to take her from that," Robin Moss said. "The little angel deserves to have her wings so she can fly away."
No date has been set for Emani's funeral. Arrangements are being handled by Gregory D. Levett Funeral Home in Lawrenceville.
KDFW FOX 4
Main Station Directory:
Didn't find what you were looking for?