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Saturday event could help Paulding abuse victim gain a normal life
by Tom Spigolon
tspigolon@neighbornewspapers.com
November 08, 2012 01:46 PM | 3037 views | 3 3 comments | 21 21 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Karen Pace shows posters advertising the Saturday fund-raiser for abuse victim Mitch Comer at Taylor Farm Park.
Karen Pace shows posters advertising the Saturday fund-raiser for abuse victim Mitch Comer at Taylor Farm Park.
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Karen Pace recalled her shock at hearing the news — an 18-year-old near her son’s age reportedly had been kept locked in his room for four years by his Paulding County parents.

“It was right here where I live,” she recalled. “I felt like somebody had reached inside my chest and squeezed my heart. It was heartbreaking … I just couldn’t believe it.”

She posted information on Facebook, which ultimately led to organization of a community fund-raiser for Comer Saturday, Nov. 10, in south Paulding County.

The event featuring vendors, food, live entertainment, a raffle and a live auction to support Mitch’s recovery is set for 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Taylor Farm Park at 1380 Pine Valley Road in Powder Springs.

The 5-foot-1, 87-pound boy was found in a Los Angeles, Calif., bus station in early September. He reportedly told police his stepfather drove him to Mississippi, gave him $200, a bus ticket and a list of homeless shelters in Los Angeles.

Paulding County sheriff’s deputies subsequently arrested stepfather Paul Comer and mother Sheila Comer and accused them of abusing Mitch. A Paulding grand jury on Oct. 22 handed down an indictment against the pair, charging them with seven counts of cruelty to children, two counts of false imprisonment and one count of kidnapping.

Mitch Comer has since gained weight and is living with a Paulding family that volunteered to take him in, Pace said.

Pace, an Acworth office manager, said options are limited for Comer because of his age. He is too old to be eligible for services normally available to juveniles, she noted.

Comer reportedly had not attended school since the eighth grade, and Pace said she is working to find a private school that can help lift him from his special circumstances.

“His needs will be substantial and long-term,” she said. “He wants to go to school. We have to find a private school with special resources.”

Dallas-based Hardy Automotive Group gave an undisclosed contribution to the “Mitch OverComer Fund” at Wells Fargo Bank. It also is sponsoring a raffle that could provide a $10,000 prize to the winner and $10,000 to the Comer fund.

Brad Wilson, general sales manager for Hardy, said the company is donating the money to the fund because, “something like this is just tragic.”

“To hear of something like this is bad, but to hear about it in your own backyard is just devastating,” he said.

“We’d like to do as much as we can,” he said. “It doesn’t matter if he’s never done business with us, or his family. This guy obviously needs all the help he can get.”
Comments
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RAHC
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November 10, 2012
A very special thank you goes to Karen Pace and Paulding County for coming together as a community to help provide a far better outlook on life for Mitch. It's comforting to know he's getting the support he needs and the love of those reaching out to help him.
Nola2012
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November 09, 2012
This was such a heart breaking story. How can I contribute?
carrieawats03
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November 09, 2012
Thank you so much to Karen Pace for helping to set this child victim's life on the track he deserves for it to be. If only we would all take such initiative!
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