While his parents remain in Paulding County jail on child cruelty charges, Mitch Comer added 10 pounds to his frail frame in a week, investigators said Monday.
Comer, 18, has told police he was locked inside a bedroom in his family’s two-story home for several years and given little food before being put on a bus Sept. 8, one day after his birthday. Comer’s stepfather, Paul Comer, allegedly drove the teenager to a Louisiana bus station and sent him to California, where he was found wandering around a bus station three days later.
Weighing 87 pounds, Mitch Comer was pale and malnourished, investigators have said. The teen didn’t know his exact address, but the Los Angeles Police Department was quickly in touch with the Paulding County Sheriff’s Office, about 2,200 miles away.
On Sept. 12, Paul and Sheila Comer, Mitch’s mother, were arrested at their home near Dallas. The two have bond hearings scheduled for 9 a.m. Thursday at the Paulding County courthouse.
The investigation into the abuse allegations continues and includes Paulding detectives and the GBI, Cpl. Ashley Henson with the Paulding Sheriff’s Office said Monday.
In recent days, deputies have traveled to Kentucky to interview Paul Comer’s family members, Henson said. Sheila Comer’s family members were interviewed in Paulding County, he said.
The couple’s two daughters have been in protective custody since their parents were arrested, investigators have said. Detectives have interviewed the girls, but those findings were not released.
Because of his age, Mitch Comer was not eligible for foster care, but has been taken in by a local family, Henson said.
“Detectives indicated that Mitch is doing well and gained 10 pounds last week,” Henson said in an emailed statement Monday.
The Comers have no prior criminal history, but were the subject of a 2009 Department of Family and Children Services investigation following an abuse allegation when the family lived in Cherokee County. The case was referred to the Cherokee Sheriff’s Office, but it was later closed, and no charges were filed.
“In 2009 we found no evidence to indicate a criminal act occurred,” Cherokee sheriff’s Lt. Colonel Ron Hunton said in an emailed statement. “The matter was a DFCS referral and we have no comment on any DFCS matter.”
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