'I'm guilty, I killed my baby': Father of girl, 10, found burned in a trash can and weighing only 32lbs 'admitted to causing her death'
- Eman and Tiffany Moss were both arrested and face several felony charges in the girl's death
- First told police that Emani, 10, swallowed chemicals
- Eman Moss allegedly told a detective that he found Emani having a seizure in the bathtub but didn't call for help
- Investigators concluded she had not been fed since October 24 and her body had been burned after being stuffed in a garbage can
- Police report now reveals Tiffany Moss was arrested for abusing Emani in 2010 after a school nurse noticed bruises and welts
PUBLISHED: 18:34 EST, 8 November 2013 | UPDATED: 01:56 EST, 9 November 2013
Angelic: Emani Moss, 10, pictured here a a toddler, was starved to death before her body was set on fire and stuffed into a trash can
An Atlanta detective investigating the death of a 10-year-old girl found starved to death and burned in a trash can testified in court today that her father had admitted to killing her.
Emani Moss weighed just 32lbs when her scorched remains were removed from a garbage bin outside an apartment complex in an Atlanta suburb last weekend.
Emani's father, Eman Moss, and step-mother, Tiffany Moss, have been arrested and charged with murder, concealing a body, and child cruelty after police say they had starved to death their daughter and then set her body on fire to cover up the crime.
The couple looked impassive at their probable cause hearing Friday as detective Collin Flynn recounted the gut-wrenching details of the girl's last days.
According to Flynn, Mr Moss had initially told police last Saturday that Emani died after swallowing some chemicals. The man later changed his story, accusing his wife of poisoning the 10-year-old.
Eman Moss eventually admitted that he returned home from work October 24 to find little Emani lying in the bathtub and unable to move.
Neither he nor Tiffany Moss, however, sought medical attention for the girl because they were afraid they would get in trouble with the law, Flynn said.
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Stone-faced: Tiffany Moss (left) and Eman Moss (right) appeared impassive during their probable cause hearing Friday
Confession: Gwinnett County Police Detective Collin Flynn testified that Mr Moss had admitted to killing his child
'I'm guilty, I killed my baby,' Eman Moss told police, according to the detective’s testimony cited by the Atlanta Journal Constitution.
According to a report from Georgia’s child services agency, Eman Moss bought a trash can and tried to incinerate his daughter's body in it. When the girl's remains would not burn, he took Emani back home and called police on November 2.
It has emerged earlier this week that Georgia's child protection agency had dismissed a report that Emani Moss had been beaten with a belt.
The Division of Family and Children Services did not send caseworkers to interview the girl, examine her injuries or question her parents.
Agency officials concluded the beatings were corporal punishment and ended the case despite four prior maltreatment investigations involving the child.
The agency first made contact with the Moss family in 2003 when Emani was only one year old, the station 11Alive reported.
Caseworkers were told that the baby was not being properly cared for and denied food, but the officials ruled the allegations 'unsubstantiated' and closed the matter.
Two years later, in April 2005, the agency investigated claims that the 3-year-old girl was suffering emotional and psychological neglect, but these allegations were also dismissed as ‘unsubstantiated.'
In December 2008, the DFCS got a tip asking to look into claims of inadequate medical care and possible sexual abuse.
Web of lies: Police said Eman Moss initially said that Emani died from ingesting chemicals, but later falsely accused his wife of poisoning her
History of abuse: Tiffany Moss allegedly whipped Emani with a belt for failing to do her homework or get good grades
Caseworks met with the child in private and concluded that 'no concerns were noted' about her.
In March 2010, the child services agency confirmed that Emani had been whipped with a belt for failing to finish her schoolwork or get good grades.
Emani's parents were ordered to take parenting classes and go through an anger management course. Three months later, the child was returned to the home and the case was closed six months after that.
Last May, officials at Emani's grade school reported seeing welts on her back and marks on her head, which were determined to be the results of corporal punishment.
The last contact between DFCS and the Moss family came three months before Emani's death, when the agency got an anonymous tip that Emani appeared 'distant and afraid to interact’ with others.
However, DFCS closed the case after failing to find the parents’ address.
Police reports released since last Saturday indicate that the 10-year-old tried to run away from home and showed up at school with bruises and welts.
'My baby went through hell,' her paternal grandmother Robin Moss told Atlanta Journal Constitution.
According to the woman, after Emani had confided in her that she was being abused by her parents, her son and his wife kept the 10-year-old away from her.
‘Detectives believe the victim was isolated from people outside of her family in the weeks before her death,’ said Gwinnett police spokesman Cpl. Jake Smith. ‘She did not attend school outside the home during this school year.’
Robin Moss’ attorney said the woman tried to get child services to open an investigation into allegations of abuse, but no action had been taken.
Inconsolable: Robin Moss, Emani's paternal grandmother, said she had fought to win custody of the 10-year-old and asked child services officials to investigate possible abuse, but no action was taken
Isolated: Police say her parents kept little Emani away from people outside of the immediate family and did not let her attend school
Miss Moss also said she had fought to win custody of her granddaughter, but the state would not let her have Emani.
‘I don't understand how the system kept putting her back in that home,’ Moss said.
The bereaved grandmother explained that she helped raise Emani from the time she was 4 years old, and the two had developed a strong bond.
In an interview with WSBTV, Robin Moss said that since her granddaughter’s death, she cannot sleep because she can 'see her hurt.'
Division of Family and Children Services officials released a statement Tuesday announcing that it will look into the way the agency handled Emani’s case.
Special bond: Robin Moss said she helped raise Emani from the time she was 4 years old, and the two had a relationship akin to that of a mother and daughter
Horrific death: Both Eman (left) and Tiffany Moss have been charged with murder, cruelty to children in the first degree and concealing a body. Tiffany had previously been arrested for beating her boyfriend's daughter
Horrific: Police found the body inside this trash can and said that there was evidence that it had been burned
Authorities conducted an autopsy on Emani Sunday and determined that her body was burned after she was dead, likely in an effort to conceal the crime, said Gwinnett County Police Cpl. Jake Smith.
Emani may have died as early as October 30 and was severely underweight when her body was found, Smith said. He said the autopsy showed the girl had been denied food for several days before her death.
Both Eman Moss and his second wife have criminal histories.
The father was arrested in 2004 on charges of battery and cruelty to children after police said he allegedly beat his first wife in front of Emani.
On March 19, 2010, then-6-year-old Emani told a school nurse she was afraid to go home with her bad report card because she was afraid her parents would hurt her, according to one of the police reports.
When the nurse investigated further, she found the girl had bruises on her body and reported it to police.
Police took Emani and her stepmother to department headquarters for interviews that day and said Emani had severe bruises and welts on her chest, back, shoulders, arms and legs, the police report said.
Burned to death: Emani Moss was found burned to death, her father (left) and stepmother (right) are each charged with murder - leaving loved ones shocked
Tiffany Moss told police she only hit the girl with a belt three times, the report said. She was arrested on a child-cruelty charge.
The Georgia Division of Family and Children Services signed a 2010 plea deal ordering Tiffany Moss to serve five years of probation for beating Emani, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported Monday.
In July 2012, Emani tried running away from home, the police reports show.
The girl's grandmother, Robin Moss, was quoted by local news media on Sunday and Monday as saying that she suspected Emani was being abused, but couldn't persuade state authorities to grant her custody.
Emani's mother, Danita Leaks, told Atlanta FOX affiliate WAGA-TV on Monday that she and Eman Moss fought over custody for two to three years and she was unaware that her daughter was being