ATLANTA (Reuters) - The burned body of a 10-year-old girl found in a trash can near an Atlanta-area apartment complex was "emaciated", police said on Monday.
"We believe the child was dead before the disposal in the trash can," said Corporal Ed Ritter, a spokesman for the Gwinnett County Police Department.
Investigators believe the body was burned in the trash can to cover up the child's death, Ritter said.
The father and stepmother of the girl, identified as Emani Moss, were charged with murder after her body was discovered over the weekend, police said.
Eman Moss and Tiffany Moss were charged with felony murder, cruelty to a child and concealing a body, according to a police statement.
While the Gwinnett County Medical Examiner's office found the girl was emaciated and classified her death as a homicide, further toxicology tests are needed, Ritter said.
Eman Moss called 911 early on Saturday morning to say he was suicidal and that there was a dead body with him, police said. Moss said his daughter drank some kind of chemical and died, according to police.
When officers arrived, Moss was standing in the breezeway of one of the apartments, located in Lawrenceville on the outskirts of Atlanta.
Moss pointed to a trash can in a recreation area of the building, where the body was found, police said. Officers checked the apartment but found no one inside.
(Reporting by David Beasley; Editing by Kevin Gray and Andrew Hay)