A grand jury on Tuesday indicted the parents of a Dallas teenager who had been found in Los Angeles last month, malnourished and underweight, after he was allegedly put on a bus with $200 and a list of homeless shelters.
The Associated Press reported that 18-year-old Mitch Comer’s stepfather, Paul Comer, and mother, Sheila Comer, were charged Tuesday with seven counts of cruelty to children, two counts of false imprisonment and one count of kidnapping. The indictment alleges the two caused the teen physical and mental harm by depriving him of food, confining him in a room, punching him in the jaw and kicking him in the groin, among other forms of abuse.
Authorities found Mitch Comer Sept. 11 in a Greyhound bus station in Los Angeles. The teen, whom authorities said appeared to only be 12 or 13, weighed only 87 pounds and was just over 5 feet tall.
The 18-year-old told authorities that his stepfather had given him $200 and a list of homeless shelters, then put him on a bus in Jackson, Miss. But the young Comer said his abuse spanned years and included confinement to his room and meals consisting of only small quantities of food. The teen also said he had been taken out of school in the eighth grade and had been forced to endure long hours in a disciplinary position—the top of his head against a wall, his fingers interlaced behind his head and his feet raised off the ground.
Paul and Sheila Comer’s indictment comes just over two weeks after they were denied bond.
A fund has been established to help Mitch Comer and his two sisters, Catrina and Lya, who lived in the house with him. Paulding County Sheriff’s officials earlier this month reported that investigators were conducting forensic interviews with the sisters. Authorities also traveled to Kentucky to meet with Paul Comer’s family.
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