ATLANTA -- Huddled overnight beneath the shopping carts at Walmart, Markea Berry confided in her journal that she would rather live at the store than at home.
The next day, after store employees found her wandering among the produce, the Smyrna teen told police she had run away because she didn’t want to be a burden on her mother. She was 14, but she was so small and skinny that she looked five years younger.
Now, less than two years later, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports, Markea is dead; at the time of her death in June she weighed 43 pounds. The mother she wanted not to burden, Ebony Berry, is charged with murder. She is accused of starving her daughter to death despite multiple investigations over nearly 10 years by child protection workers in Michigan and later in Georgia.