The grandmother of a teen whom police said was tortured by his parents told CBS Atlanta News she believes the allegations.
"I believe it," said Diane Powell, of Cedar Rapids, IA.
Powell's daughter, Sheila Marie Comer, 39, was arrested by the Paulding County Sheriff's Office and charged along with her husband, Paul Matthew Comer, 48, with six counts of cruelty to children and one count of false imprisonment.
Police reported Mitch Comer, 18, was malnourished and had been locked in a room for several years.
"Heartbreaking ain't the word for it," said Powell. "I am sick. Head-to-toe sick."
Powell, who said she hasn't spoken to her daughter for more than a decade, said her son-in-law prevented Sheila from contacting her family. Powell said she has never met her granddaughters, 11 and 13, and she hasn't seen her grandson since he was a toddler.
"I miss him. I haven't seen him since he was 3. I haven't heard nothing from him. I tried and tried and tried to get a hold of them and calling and messaging, and they kept giving me false addresses, false cell numbers and [Paul] just kept running and I couldn't find them anywhere," said Powell.
"Paul treated [Mitch] terrible," said Nelda Barnes, Sheila's grandmother, who recalled seeing Paul excessively control his son when she visited the family at their home in Arizona more than a decade ago.
"His father wouldn't let him eat," said Barnes. "Every time Mitch picked up something his dad would give him a dirty look."
"He'd ask permission. Can I get a drink of water? Can I please go to the bathroom? Very polite but it was like he was a little robot. He didn't think for himself. He was afraid to do anything," said Powell.
Powell said she is planning to travel to Georgia to see her grandchildren to let them know they have family that loves them.
"I want them and I want to do the best for them, and I just want to hug them. I just want to love them. I want to see them and love them," said Powell.
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Friday, May 17 2013 7:16 PM EDT2013-05-17 23:16:53 GMT
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