Target: Dick Donovan, District Attorney of Paulding County, Georgia
Goal: Prosecute Paul and Sheila Comer to the fullest extent of law for their years of child abuse and neglect.
It turned out to be a birthday Mitch Comer would not soon forget. Unlike other teenagers his age who might expect to turn 18 and welcome adulthood with a bit more pomp and circumstance, Mitch was sent by his mother and stepfather on a bus from Georgia to downtown Los Angeles with $200 and a list of homeless shelters. Mitch was no stranger to the abuses of his mother and stepfather–when he arrived in Los Angeles, he weighed 87 pounds and stood barely above five feet tall.
After his condition caught the attention of retired Los Angeles police Sgt. Joe Gonzalez, who was working security at the station on the night of his arrival, Mitch spoke about how his stepfather sent him on his way now that he had become a legal adult. The boy also explained the years of abuse at the hands of his guardians, who took him out of school sometime in the eighth grade and kept in him confinement in a small room with hardly any food. He almost never got to see his two younger sisters.
Georgia law enforcement was contacted by authorities from Los Angeles, and the teen’s parents had to be tracked down; because of his circumstances, Mitch did not know his own address. Both his stepfather, Paul Comer, and his mother, Sheila Comer, have since been arrested. “They mistreated him something terrible,” said Diane Powell, Sheila’s mother and grandmother to the boy. “I got on her case about it and she disappeared from my life.”
For now, Mitch has been placed with a local family—as an agency willing to take in a legal adult was hard to come by—and his two younger sisters back home in Georgia, ages 11 and 13, have been placed into protective custody by the Paulding County Children’s Services. Both Paul and Sheila Comer face chargers of false imprisonment and cruelty to children and are being held without bond until their hearing on October 4.
Having already been on the radar of child welfare officials since February 2009, Sheila and Paul Comer must now be prosecuted to the full extent of the law. Petition the Paulding County District Attorney to do so here.
Dear Mr. Donovan,
Mitch Comer was sent by his mother and stepfather on a bus from Georgia to downtown Los Angeles with $200 dollars in his pocket and a list of homeless shelters for him to seek upon arrival. He had just turned 18 and as a legal adult, he was sent packing. But after years of confinement and abuse, the boy was in no shape to take care of himself or find his way. Measuring a scrawny five feet tall and weighing less than 100 pounds, Mitch explained to Los Angeles authorities how he was shipped off by his parents after he had legally become a man.
And that is just a part of it. Since the eighth grade, when he was taken out of school, Mitch was held as captor in his family home and barely given enough food to get by. Already on the radar of child welfare officials since 2009, it is obvious that both Paul and Sheila Comer have not acted in the best interests of their son. As Mitch struggles to survive, Paul and Sheila Comer must now be prosecuted to the full extent of the law. These are unfit parents and must not be allowed to shake off their charges.
[Your Name Here]