Before July 2009, Melanie and Bud were best known in Pensacola, Florida, as a generous, good-hearted couple who opened their home to children with severe disabilities. Now, their tragic deaths haunt the community and the children they left behind.
Ashley says she and her siblings are getting by day by day and hour by hour. "[The children are] very resilient," she says. "There are issues every day. Somebody has a different issue, different problem, and we just kind of deal with it how we can."
Get information about the Billings children's special needs trust.
After her parents were found dead, Ashley and her husband of two years, Blue Markham, took over parenting duties for her nine adopted siblings, which fulfills a promise Ashley says she made to her mother years ago.
"She would talk about it to us. 'If something were to happen, make sure my babies are taken care of. Make sure they're all kept together,'" Ashley says. "I told her, 'Well, you never have to worry about that.'"