Man suspected in Campbell County girl's death arrested

Man suspected in Campbell County girl's death arrested

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Joshua Comer (source: Campbell County Sheriff's Office) Joshua Comer (source: Campbell County Sheriff's Office)
Joshua Comer, wanted in the death of a 3-year-old Campbell County girl, was arrested on Wednesday. Joshua Comer, wanted in the death of a 3-year-old Campbell County girl, was arrested on Wednesday.

By WHITNEY GOOD
6 News Reporter

LAFOLLETTE (WATE) - The man suspected in a 3-year-old Campbell County girl's death was arrested Wednesday after being added to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation's Top Ten Most Wanted list.

Joshua Adam Comer, 33, was wanted for the death of his girlfriend's daughter, Gabriella Orton on June 10. An autopsy revealed signs of serious physical abuse.The Campbell County Sheriff's Office says he was captured Wednesday afternoon on Whitman Hollow Road after a manhunt. Sheriff Robbie Goins said his deputies had spent the last day searching. He was found in the basement.

"It's just hard to imagine why anyone would do this to a child. There's no reason for it," said Campbell County Sheriff Robbie Goins.

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

A Campbell County special grand jury indicted Comer Tuesday on first degree felony murder charges. The girl's mother, Amber Orton, was arrested and charged with aggravated child abuse.

When Campbell County deputies tried Tuesday to arrest Comer at a residence on Whitman Hollow Road in LaFollette, he fled.

"Went to the residence, couldn't find him at his home. We ended up going to another area in Campbell County, Whitman Hollow, and found him at the home. He ran on us," said Goins.

They arrested him then without incident.

"They can't protect themselves. They can't stand up for themselves. They can't fight. A 3-year-old certainly can't fight against a 33-year-old man, so it's draining. It's emotional, but it's awesome when the arrest is effected," said Assistant District Attorney Scarlett Ellis.

Comer has a criminal history of theft, domestic violence and evading arrest.

"You don't leave it at the office. The police officers don't and really no one that touched Gabby. She's not left our mind for the last two weeks," said Ellis.

"It's tough for everyone, but we're going to be there for her," said Goins.

Comer and Orton will both be arraigned on Friday.

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