When police arrived at the home of 36-year old Ebony Berry in June 2011, they found her 16-year old daughter, Markea, unresponsive. The teenager was later pronounced dead. Markea, who weighed just 43-pounds, had died of starvation.
It wasn’t the first time police had been called to the home on Concorde Road. A year earlier, in 2010, officers were called after she apparently wandered away from home. She was found at a Wal-Mart in Austell the next day. At the time, authorities said Markea, 14, had the mental capacity of a third grader.
Again and again, child welfare officials in Georgia and Michigan investigated Berry and her daughter. Reports indicated they found Markea was often locked in a room with so-called “pee-pads” on the floor to relieve herself. And when in stores, reports said Markea would often walk up to a shelf, open food containers and start eating right there.
Now, a Cobb County grand jury has indicted Ebony Berry on charges of murder and child cruelty. Berry is being held on 75-thousand dollars’ bond. So far, no trial date has been set.