Couple charged with ‘violently’ abusing foster kids
A Manchester Township couple are facing multiple felony charges for abusing foster children in their care, according to court documents filed in Dearborn Superior Court 1 by Dearborn County Sheriff’s Detective Gena Allen.
Timothy C. Combs, 59, and his wife Diane Carol Combs, 55, 16447 Jeannie Drive, “violently” and repeatedly shook twin 3-year-olds they were babysitting; dropped children on their heads on the floor; smacked children in the face, including a mentally and physically disabled girl, resulting in pain and injuries; and kicked children, said Dearborn County Sheriff’s Deputy Gena Allen in a probable cause affidavit.
Diane Combs also stuffed urine-wet diapers in children’s mouths, twisted the “wee wee” of a 6-year-old on multiple occasions, and strangled one child, wrote Allen.
Bond for each of the Combs was set at $75,000 cash and $250,000 surety at an initial hearing Tuesday, Sept. 4, according to a Dearborn County Prosecutor’s Office spokesperson.
They are scheduled for a pretrial hearing at 11 a.m. Monday, Oct. 15, and jury trial Monday, Jan. 14.
The couple were arrested and jailed at the Dearborn County Law Enforcement Center Friday, Aug. 31, according to jail records.
Some of the alleged incidents were captured on videos one of the children took with an old cell phone given to the child by a neighbor youth, said the PCA.
The youth’s mother called Dearborn County Deputy Hayden Hummel Friday, July 27, and said she had received videos showing abuse toward a child. Hummel immediately went to the
Combs’ residence off North Hogan Road to conduct a welfare check.
Hummel then reviewed videos on the child’s cell phone with the Combs’ consent, and observed a young, naked 6-year-old being smacked in the face and knocked to the ground by Diane Combs, said the PCA.
Hummel contacted the Division of Child Services and all eight children at the home were removed.
The eight children, ages 2 to 16, included four foster children placed with the Combs, one mentally and physically handicapped teen they had adopted, and three children the Combs were babysitting, wrote Allen.
Interviewed at the Child Advocacy Center, the youngsters and an additional 18-year-old foster child, gave statements corroborating and supplementing the videotaped incidents.
Timothy Combs is charged with four counts of attempted aggravated battery, all Level 3 felonies; one count of domestic battery on a child with a mental or physical disability resulting in injury, a Level 5 felony; three counts of domestic battery on a child under age 14 resulting in injury, a Level 5 felony; two counts of domestic battery in the presence of a child under age 16, a Level 6 felony; and attempted strangulation, a Level 6 felony.
Diane Combs is charged with five counts of attempted aggravated battery, a Level 3 felony; one count of domestic battery on a child with a mental or physical disability resulting in injury, a Level 5 felony; two counts of domestic battery on a child under age 14 resulting in injury, a Level 5 felony; three counts of of domestic battery on a child under age 14 resulting in injury, a Level 5 felony; three counts of domestic battery by bodily waste on a child under age 14, a Level 6 felony; strangulation, a Level 6 felony; and sexual battery, also a level 6 felony.
The couple first fostered children in February 2015, and have had 38 foster children sent to live there, with five current, said the PCA.
They adopted a 16-year-old who is mentally and physically disabled, with limited verbal skills, wrote Allen. The couple lives on a side road off North Hogan Road several miles outside Aurora.
Indiana has six felony level charges. The lower the number the more severe. A Level 1 felony charge is the most severe.