DALLAS, Ga. (AP) - An emaciated teenage Georgia boy told police he was forced to kneel for hours at a time by his stepfather and mother, who now face charges of child cruelty after allegedly confining the teen in a bedroom for years and then sending him by bus to Los Angeles to seek a homeless shelter.
Investigators in Paulding County, Ga., planned to conduct an afternoon search at the home where authorities allege Mitch Comer was kept in such seclusion that his two younger sisters in the same house did not know what he looked like.
"The sisters haven't seen the brother in over two years," Paulding County sheriff's Cpl. Ashley Henson said. "They didn't even know what color his hair was."
Stepfather Paul Comer and mother Sheila Comer face charges of false imprisonment and cruelty to children, Paulding County jail records show. They were being held without bond.
Arrest warrants filed Sept. 12 and 13 in Georgia say the couple "made Mitch kneel on the floor, bend his head and place his forehead against the wall, and place his hands behind his head for long periods of time."
The boy said he was fed small quantities of food daily, according to a Los Angeles police statement.
Renee Rockwell, a lawyer for Sheila Comer, said her client is "standing by her not guilty plea." Rockwell said she hopes a judge grants her client bond at an Oct. 4 hearing, saying her client is not a flight risk and that her son has been removed from the home.
"I'm staying deep in prayer that the judge sees fit to grant her bond," Rockwell said.
Phone messages left for a lawyer for Paul Comer were not immediately returned Friday afternoon.
The FBI and the Georgia Bureau of Investigation have joined the case, Henson said.