Detectives detail malnourished teen's confinement

Associated Press Modified: October 4, 2012 at 5:32 pm •  Published: October 4, 2012
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Mitch Comer also told investigators he wasn't fed often, occasionally getting soup or cereal but little of substance. The teen had translucent skin, was very small and still had his baby teeth, which a doctor said was the result of malnourishment, Morgan said.

"I thought he was a 12-year-old boy," Morgan said.

Authorities say the Comers sometimes made Mitch Comer kneel on the floor with his forehead against a wall, his hands behind his head and his feet lifted off the ground. Mitch Comer told investigators he sometimes had to remain in that position for six to eight hours, while Paul Comer said it was only 40 minutes at a time.

Mitch Comer described being loaded into a van with a blanket over his head Sept. 8, the day after his birthday. They missed the bus leaving Atlanta for Los Angeles, so his stepfather drove to Jackson, Miss., so the teen could catch up with the bus there, Shelton said. The teen said he went willingly, wanting to be anywhere other than his parents' house.

However, the Comers and their attorneys have disputed several of the allegations, which prosecutor Tom Cole called "one of the most vile and reprehensible acts that the state has seen in a long time."

Paul Comer has said he fed the teen the same food the family ate, three times a day at 7 a.m., noon and 7 p.m. He also told investigators that he sometimes encouraged his stepson to go outside, but that the teen declined.

Rockwell, Sheila Comer's attorney, said there was no evidence a large appliance like a refrigerator had ever blocked the door to the bedroom because there was no indentation in the carpet. She also said the window opened with little effort, and the screen could easily be pushed out.

While being questioned by Rockwell, a detective said there was no evidence of any kind of monitoring device that would alert the parents if Mitch Comer opened a door or window.

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