Beginning in 2014, Timothy and Diane Combs opened their home to 38 foster children. They were even deemed the "go to" couple of Dearborn County, Indiana. There had been allegations of abuse in their past, but none of it was ever substantiated.
“These were children that had been taken away from their parents, because mom and dad have issues, and sometimes these children aren’t always believed,” Lynn Deddens, Dearborn County prosecutor said.
That all changed though, when one child in their home borrowed a cell phone from a friend and recorded the abuse. The friend showed the video to his mom who then contacted the Dearborn Sheriff's Department.
When authorities showed up to their home last year, there was a 16 year old adopted child reported to have physical and intellectual difficulties, four foster children and three children that they were watching. Aside from the single teenager, all of the other children were between the ages of 8 and 2 years old.
Timothy S. Combs, then 59, and Diane Combs, then 55, were arrested August 31, of 2018. Timothy was charged with aggravated battery, domestic battery, battery on a child resulting in serious bodily injury, and strangulation. Diane was charged with aggravated battery, battery on a child resulting in serious bodily injury, domestic battery, battery by bodily waste, strangulation, and sexual battery.
The video evidence left little room for denial of the charges.
In the footage, a six year old is both seen and heard being verbally berated for wetting his pull-ups, and is seen being slapped so hard he is knocked to the ground. He's told to get back up, before being hit again.
At one point, Diane is heard saying, "Don’t touch my motherf—— leg. I’m going to choke the s— out of you b——," before evidently removing the pull-ups from the child and shoving them into his mouth.
Court documents are said to have detailed other abuses including “whoopings,” getting dropped on their heads, and causing injury to their “private parts.”
On September 5th, Timothy pleaded guilty to three counts of battery. He was sentenced to 18 years with five suspended as probation.
Diane pleaded guilty on September 17th, to several counts including aggravated battery. She was sentenced to 20 years followed by an additional 12 years probation.
During Diane's sentencing hearing on Tuesday, the woman that is now in the process of adopting the two boys seen being abused in the video gave a victim impact statement. In it she said, “monsters don’t live under beds, they walk around in human form.”