Tough questions remain in death of girl found in trash bin - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

Tough questions remain in death of girl found in trash bin

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GWINNETT COUNTY, Ga. -

Days after a 10-year-old girl was found dead in a garbage can in Gwinnett County, more questions than answers remain for those that knew the girl's family.

The body of Emani Moss was stuffed in a garbage can early Saturday after the girl's father, Eman Moss, called 911 around 3:45 a.m. Saturday and said that his daughter drank some sort of chemical and was dead.  

Authorities have said that Emani appeared to be emaciated and that her body had been burned in an attempt to conceal the death.

Eman Moss and the girl's stepmother, Tiffany Moss, have been charged with murder.

Christy Fresh said that she knew the Moss family and that she's now questioning everything she saw inside their home.

"There were times that I would see Emani standing like this on boxes and chairs for hours. Emani had tears come out. You can tell she was distraught and upset," said Fresh.

Fresh said that Tiffany Moss used to babysit her son. She said that her son seemed happy and unharmed, so she never questioned Moss' method of disciplining her own children.

"We knew how much Eman loved Emani, so it was kind of like, how could Eman let it happen," Fresh said.

While Fresh said there were no signs of physical abuse, in retrospect, she questions whether she missed a chance to report something. She also questions why Division of Family and Children Services allowed Emani to return to her father and stepmother's home even after Tiffany was charged with child cruelty for beating Emani in 2010.

"She had scratches on her, bruises on her and she had the courage to go to the school and say that; someone should have intervened," said Fresh.

State Rep. Mary Margaret Oliver has spent years writing legislation relating to child abuse. She said there's no easy answers in the case. She said there had been a "pattern of abuse from an early age" in Moss' case.

"Emani Moss' death was preventable and the state was engaged in trying to prevent harm to her and we failed," Oliver said.

Oliver said that while DFACS case workers can't predict when parents will murder, the agency must do a better job of screening what she calls predictors for continued abuse. She said that 55 other children were murdered this year alone by parents or caregivers who'd been reported to the state.

"How many of those deaths were preventable, and what were the obstacles to preventing those deaths," Oliver asked.

FOX 5 was unable to get a comment from DFACS regarding Emani Moss' case.

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