Exclusive: Mom of 10-year-old says she didn't know about abuse - KMSP-TV

Exclusive: Mom of 10-year-old says she didn't know about abuse

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ATLANTA -

The birth mother of a 10-year-old Gwinnett County girl whose body was found stuffed in a garbage can is speaking out exclusively to FOX 5.  Emani Moss' mother says she spent the last six years trying to see her daughter, but ongoing legal battles got in the way.  

Danita Leaks, the girl's birth mother, said that she was devastated when a Gwinnett County police detective told her Saturday that her daughter had died.

Emani was found stuffed in a trash can Saturday. Police say the girl's father, Eman Moss, called 911 around 3:45 a.m. Saturday saying that his daughter drank some sort of chemical and was dead.  

Police said that Emani may have been dead several days before her body was found.

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

Flynn said that Emani appeared to be emaciated and had not been fed regularly.

Emani's father and stepmother, Tiffany Moss, are being held in the Gwinnett County Detention Center on charges of murder and concealing a body.

Leaks said she hadn't seen her daughter since she was 6 years old. She told FOX 5 that she never knew her daughter was being abused.

"I'm her mother, why didn't anyone call me?" Leaks told FOX 5.  "DFACS has my information.  Why didn't they call me and tell me that this was happening to my baby?"

Leaks said that she and the girl's father fought over her custody in court for two or three years.

According to Leaks, Eman Moss had been arrested for abusing her when Emani was a baby, but she never thought he would abuse his own daughter.

"If I would have known that him and his wife were abusing my baby, I would not have let her stay over there," Leaks said.

Emani's paternal grandmother, Robin Moss, told FOX 5 on Sunday she too is devastated by the crime her son and daughter-in-law are accused of committing.  She says she fought to have full custody of the child, and was frustrated when her daughter-in-law was actually charged with child cruelty but was later allowed to get her back after taking parenting classes.

Robin Moss told FOX 5 the 10-year-old's life was a contrast between unconditional love and terror as she spent most of her life in the middle of the custody battle. She says the last words she ever heard out of her granddaughter's mouth were, "Grandmommy, I love you and I might not see you again." She says she is now haunted by those words.

Gwinnett County police believe that Emani was being home-schooled and apparently kept secluded.

Two other young children of Tiffany Moss who were at the home have now been placed in state custody, according to police.

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