Esther Combs

rachel   July 16, 2013   Comments Off on Esther Combs

Elsa Garcia listens to testimony being given during the hearing.

Esther Combs, originally named Elsa Garcia, was taken from Baptist Children’s Home in Valparaiso, Indiana, by Joseph and Evangeline Combs at 4 months old in 1978. Esther was never actually adopted, although she grew up believing that she had been. Joseph, a Baptist minister, sexually abused Esther and Evangeline beat her with a baseball bat and a hose, burned her with a curling iron, and pulled out chunks of her flesh with pliers, leaving more than 400 scars across her body. Esther was treated as a family servant, and while her parents were ostensibly homeschooling her she was not actually educated. The Combs kept Esther imprisoned in their home even after she turned 18; the abuse came to light after she was hospitalized following a suicide attempt at age 19 and doctors found evidence of prior brutal physical abuse. The Combs were arrested in 1998; Joseph Combs was sentenced to 114 years in prison for kidnapping, rape, assault and perjury, while Evangeline Combs was sentenced to 65 years for kidnapping and child abuse. Esther has since been reunited with her birth parents.

Date: November, 1998
Location:Bristol, Tennessee

Documents: Date:
The Preacher Combs Trial
PASTOR, WIFE CHARGED WITH CHILD ABUSE 1998-11-08
TENNESSEE EX-PASTOR, WIFE TIED TO ABUSE, CHILD SLAVERY 1998-11-11
POLICE SAY WOMAN BECAME ‘FAMILY SLAVE’ 1998-11-14
EX-PASTOR, WIFE SEEKING PRIVATE LEGAL COUNSEL; HEARING SET FOR NOV. 25 1998-11-14
WOMAN FILES LAWSUIT AGAINST ADOPTION AGENCY 1998-11-17
ADOPTIONS STILL OPEN TO ABUSE 1998-11-22
MINISTERS SUPPORT COUPLE IN ALLEGED ABUSE CASE 1998-11-26
WOMAN SAYS SHE WAS A ‘SLAVE’ ABUSED BY EX-BAPTIST MINISTER 1998-11-30
COUPLE PLEAD INNOCENT TO ‘SLAVE’ CHARGES 1998-12-15
JUDGE DELAYS KIDNAPPING, RAPE TRIAL AGAINST COUPLE 1999-05-12
Former minister accused of kidnapping, rape back in jail 1999-07-14
TESTIMONY BEGINS IN ABUSE TRIAL 2000-03-03
JUDGE CALLS RECESS IN TENN. ABUSE TRIAL AGAINST MINISTER AND WIFE 2000-03-09
SON SAYS PARENTS DID NOT ABUSE HIS `SISTER’ 2000-03-17
CHILDREN TESTIFY TO SUPPORT PARENTS ACCUSED OF ABUSE 2000-03-18
Trial of minister, wife continues 2000-03-21
MINISTER’S TEARS FLOW IN DENIAL OF `DAUGHTER’ ABUSE 2000-03-22
PASTOR, WIFE CLEARED OF 4 ABUSE CHARGES 2000-03-23
Couple convicted of abusing girl they took from orphanage 2000-03-24
MINISTER, WIFE ABUSED ORPHANED GIRL, JURY FINDS 2000-03-24
Experts say Esther Combs child-abuse case is unusual 2000-04-09
Couple sentenced for abusing girl they took from orphanage 2000-04-25
WOMAN BEGINS NEW LIFE AFTER 20 YEARS OF ABUSE 2000-08-12
COMBS FACES PERJURY CHARGES IN BROTHER’S KIDNAP-RAPE TRIAL 2000-08-14
PrimeTime: A Tragic Case of Abuse 2000-11-02