Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

After 15 Years Father Finds Kidnapped Son Emaciated and Abused

Sheila and Paul Comer

Sheila and Paul Comer

The good news is that Tony Wawrzynski may have found his missing son, Mitch Comer who was kidnapped by his own mother, Sheila Comer, 15 years ago when the couple separated. The bad news is that the nicest thing the mother may have done for the emaciated boy was dump him at a bus station on his eighteenth birthday. According to police, the boy was left at the bus station with $200, told to go to Los Angeles, and was given a list of homeless shelters there. He was reportedly told by his stepfather, “You’re a man now, don’t come back.”

Wawrzynski received a call from detectives in mid-October 2012, after investigators found a letter to the boy from him in the Comer’s house. The detective informed him that his son, for whom he had been searching for so long, was at the victim in a horrific abuse case. At the center of the case are allegations against Paul and Sheila Comer of Paulding County Georgia of locking Mitch away in his room for three years and in the bathroom for one year, before kicking him to the curb. A victim of chronic starvation at the hands of his mother and stepfather, the boy, who weighed only 97 pounds, was found wandering around the bus station by a security guard, who was so alarmed at his appearance that he took the teen to police.

Paul and Sheila Comer were arrested at their home on September 12 and have been in custody ever since. According to their attorneys the couple claims that they were punishing their son for unruly behavior. They have been indicted on charges of cruelty to children, false imprisonment and kidnapping. Investigators discovered that Sheila had changed her name, and the couple had moved dozens of times ofer the last 15 years, which made it difficult for the private detectives Wawrzynski had hired to find Mitch.

Wawrzynski, who is an engineer in Reno, Nevada, has two other children, and told reporters that the tale of abuse relayed to him by detectives brought him to tears, “It’s been really hard on me, I mean, me and Mitch when he was a baby, we were really close,” Wawrzynski said. “We were inseparable. When Mitch was a baby, I was the one that fed him. I was the one that changed his diapers.” Wawrzynski hopes to meet the boy soon but must first undergo DNA testing to prove that he is the biological father.

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