A 16-year-old girl was allegedly starved to death by her weight-obsessed mother. The girl, weighing 40 pounds at her time of death, was reportedly purposefully neglected by her mother who had joined a “pro-hunger” group.
Authorities say that Markea Blakely-Berry was found dead on Friday in her Atlanta home. Her mother, 38-year-old Ebony Berry, called the police after she couldn’t revive Markea herself. Ebony called her father first, who told WOOD-TV, “I got her off the phone,” continuing, “I said, ‘You dial 911. Don’t call me. Call me back and let me know what’s going on with the child.”
Markea, who had mental disabilities, was found dead at the scene. Ebony is currently being held without bond, facing charges of murder and first-degree cruelty to children.
The most twisted part of this story is that Ebony reportedly hated daughter Markea. Relatives spoke to a long history of abuse stretching back to when the two lived in Grand Rapids, Michigan together. “Her mother hated her for some reason. We don’t know,” said Cheryl Gore, Markea’s paternal grandmother.
Gore alleges that Ebony had been starving Markea for years. According to the New York Daily News, Gore used to receive drawings in the mail from Markea (with no return address) after Ebony moved to Georgia in 2008. In one Thanksgiving drawing, people were drawn sitting around a table full of empty plates.
Markea’s father Mark Blakely, who did not live with the two, said that Child Protective Services should have intervened as early as Michigan. “She ran to do wrong,” he said of Ebony’s move to Georgia. “Nobody helped, nobody tried to stop her. The system knew that she wasn’t wrapped all the way tight.”
Family have also alleged that Ebony belonged to a group on Facebook that encouraged hunger and starvation, reports DailyMail. “It’s like, mind-blowing to me,” said Blakely. “I can’t even understand it. How could anybody do that to somebody? You wouldn’t even do your worst enemy that way.”