Officials arrest mother, looking for man accused of murdering 3-

Officials arrest mother, looking for man accused of murdering 3-year-old Campbell Co. girl

Joshua Comer (source: Campbell County Sheriff's Office) Joshua Comer (source: Campbell County Sheriff's Office)
Amber Orton (source: Campbell County Sheriff's Office) Amber Orton (source: Campbell County Sheriff's Office)
Gabriella Orton (source: Family) Gabriella Orton (source: Family)
6 News Reporter

JACKSBORO (WATE) - The Campbell County Sheriff's Office is looking for a man charged with murdering a 3-year-old girl earlier this month. The child's mother has been arrested on aggravated child neglect charges. Campbell County Sheriff Robbie Goins and District Attorney General Lori Phillips-Jones announced the charges in a joint press conference Tuesday.

They said a special grand jury convened Tuesday to hear evidence in the case of Gabriella Orton.

Deputies say Joshua Comer, 33, took Orton to LaFollete Medical Center's emergency room on June 10. She was pronounced dead shortly after her arrival. 

Previous story: Campbell Co. Sheriff's Office investigates 3-year-old's death

Officials say there was visible evidence of serious physical abuse, but final autopsy results are still pending.

"I can't understand the mentality of any human being that would hurt a child. They're innocent," said Pat Rezentes, Gabriella's grandmother. 

The grand jury returned an indictment for Comer for first degree felony murder. Deputies aren't sure of his location.

"I did not know about it. If I had I would have got her out of there. I'll be honest with you. She would not have been in that situation," said Rezentes.  

Comer is charged with first degree felony murder and Gabriella's grandmother believes he's responsible. 

"You don't mess with kids. I love my grandsons and I loved my granddaughter. We waited a long time for a little girl," said Rezentes.

Authorities arrested Gabriella's mother, Amber Orton, on an aggravated child neglect charge, but have yet to find her boyfriend, Joshua Comer.
Comer's father wouldn't comment about the situation.

Sheriff Robbie Goins says these types of cases bring lots of questions. 

"You wonder why things like this happened. How could anyone do anything to this child? I think that we're her voice now and I think that's what we're trying to do is give her the justice she deserves," said Sheriff Robbie Goins of the Campbell County Sheriff's Office.  

Gabriella's grandmother says she has received some closure, but will miss many things about her granddaughter. 

"That sweet little smile and those big brown eyes. The love and affection that she gave because she was a very lovable little girl," said Rezentes.  

The district attorney tells 6 News that Comer does have a criminal history with previous assaults. The child's mother, Amber Orton, 29, is in the Campbell County jail being held on a $750,000 bond.

Officers are still looking for Comer. Anyone with information on his whereabouts is asked to call 911 immediately, but the public is encouraged not to approach him.

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