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Tuesday, July 31, 2012 - 6:02am

Starved Girl Prompts Protocol Change

A state official says the agency in charge of protecting Georgia children from abuse is revamping its protocols after an investigation found that a teenage girl who died was severely malnourished.

Georgia Division of Family and Children Services Director Ron Scroggy tells The Atlanta Journal-Constitution that Markea Berry's death should never have happened. The 14-year-old weighed 43 pounds when she died in June in Smyrna.

A DFCS caseworker suspected the girl was not being fed, and noted that concern in a November 2010 report. The agency closed the case the following month.

Police have arrested the girl's mother, 38-year-old Ebony Espree Berry. She faces charges of murder and child cruelty. Jail records do not indicate whether she has an attorney in the case.