Family members suspected abuse of Paulding Co. teen - New York News

Family members suspected abuse of Paulding Co. teen

PAULDING COUNTY, Ga. -

Investigators say family members of a couple accused of locking their child in his room for years had suspected that there might be abuse.

Paul and Sheila Comer were arrested last month and accused of abusing 18-year-old Mitch Comer, who weighed 87 pounds when authorities found him in Los Angeles.

Investigators said that Mitch Comer was locked in a room with little food for years. Authorities said that Paul Comer put 18-year-old Mitch Comer on a bus to California, giving him only $200 and a list of homeless shelters.

Authorities said they have been working to piece together details of the case.

"We just want to try and get some background on how and why this may have occurred," said Cpl. Ashley Henson of the Paulding County Sheriff's Office.

Officials traveled out of state to visit with the families of Paul and Sheila Comer. Both sides of the family told investigators that they suspected the Comer children were being abused.

"They just alluded to the fact, they thought there might be some type of abuse in the home," said Henson. "From what I understand, they had never reached out to law enforcement."

Family members told officials that the Comers had no contact with them.

"The family simply didn't know where they were. They had been searching for them for years and just didn't know where Mr. and Mrs. Comer were,' said Henson.

Investigators say the Comers isolated themselves from the outside world; they didn't go to church and had no friends.

Paul comer ran a business from home and Sheila comer home-schooled their two daughters.

In the last few days, investigators have also interviewed the 11- and 13-year-old Comer daughters, but say that it could be some time before they know if the girls were abused.

"We're trying to get some normalcy for these kids and we just want to get them a sense of stability, so they can trust who they're with and be able to talk about the situation that occurred," said Henson.

The daughters are in foster care with one family, while Mitch is the care of another foster family.

Material from the Associated Press was used in this report.

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