Emani Moss weighed only 32 pounds when she died; she was 10 years old.
The body of the Gwinnett County, Ga., girl was found burned in a trash can in November 2013. Just this week, the county medical examiner determined that her cause of death was starvation, and her parents were indicted on murder charges.
Because she was so underweight, Gwinnett County Medical Examiner’s Investigator Eddie Reeves told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution they couldn’t determine officially how long she had been dead. The average weight for the average height of a 10-year-old girl is 72 pounds. Reeves told the newspaper Moss was in the lowest percentile for her age.
“This is the worst investigation I’ve been involved in with regards to the condition of the child that did not have trauma,” Reeves told the Journal-Constitution.
He said her body was “so emaciated” it had no muscle tone.
Moss’ father and stepmother were arrested shortly after her body was found, but were denied bond last week as a judge ruled they were flight risks.
Watch WSB-TV’s report:
Eman and Tiffany Moss were charged with two counts of felony murder, two counts of child abuse and concealing death.
The Gwinnett Daily Post reported court documents alleging that Eman Moss witnessed Emani “seizing up” in the bathtub in October. Police said the couple left her in the tub and found she had died six days later, at which point they tried to get rid of her body by burning it in a dumpster outside their Veranda Chase Apartments.
Court documents described the couple’s treatment as “cruel and excessive physical and mental pain by withholding necessary sustenance to sustain human life,” the Daily Post reported.
The Journal-Constitution reported that the state’s Division of Family and Children’s Services had been involved with the family in prior child abuse cases but didn’t remove the children from the adults’ care at the time. Emani’s two other siblings are currently in the department’s custody.