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Stepdad Sends Abused Teen to L.A. from Georgia to Fend For Himself With $200 and a List of Homeless Shelters

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Paul (left) and Sheila Comer (Photos courtesy LAPD)
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When patrol officers from the Los Angeles Police Department's Newton Area arrived at the Greyhound Bus Station on East 7th Street on September 11, they found a small, slender, pale young man they thought was maybe 12 or 13 years old.It turns out that boy was actually 18-year-old Mitch Comer, who stood just over 5 feet tall and weighed a mere 87 pounds, according to the LAPD. Comer told police he'd been sent to L.A. from Georgia by way of Jackson, Mississippi, by his stepfather, who handed him $200 and a list of homeless shelters in L.A. and informed him that since he was now a man, he had to leave and fend for himself.

In talking with the LAPD, Comer explained that he had been taken out of the eighth grade four years earlier by his stepfather, 48-year-old Paul Matthew Comer, and kept in a room from which he was not permitted to leave. Comer was fed sparingly, and was made to spend eight hours of his day "with the top of his head against a wall, his fingers interlaced behind his head and his feet raised off the ground."

Additionally, Comer had two younger sisters he did not get to see, both of whom lived with the elder Comer and their mother, Sheila.

Investigators, challenged by the fact that Mitch Comer did not know his family's Georgia address, sought the Comers, and ultimately located them in Paulding County. With the assistance of local authorities, the Comers were taken in for questioning and subsequently arrested for charges related to child abuse and false imprisonment.

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The girls, Catrina and Lya, were places into protective custody.

Wednesday, Mitch Comer returned to Georgia, where he will take part in the investigation and legal proceedings against his parents.