17 January, 2018
The Californian torturing couple was brought on charged of child endangerment and torture and are being held on a $9 million bond.
Officers say numerous victims, who range in age from 2 to 29, do not look their age because of their levels of emaciation.
In a discovery that has stunned both authorities and neighbors in a suburban Riverside County neighborhood, 13 brothers and sisters who appeared to have been held captive by their parents in a Perris house were found early Sunday, Jan. 14, after one of them escaped and called 911.
David and Louise Turpin are accused of using chains and padlocks to shackle several of their children to their beds in "dark and foul-smelling surroundings", the Riverside County Sheriff's Department said. The facts have been brought to their attention by a 17-year-old severely malnourished girl who managed to escape the home. All were dirty and appeared to be malnourished.
Police said six of the couple's children were minors, while the other seven were over 18.
- In a disturbing case, police rescued 13 people from horrific conditions in a California home, several of them shackled to beds.
The Perris Police Department and the Riverside County Sheriff's Department went to investigate and talked to the girl, noting that while she was 17, she was so starved she looked like a 10-year-old.
The Turpins were cuffed and taken into custody on charges of suspicion of child endangerment and torture.
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"It's hard to think of them as adults when you first see them because they're small, and it's clear they're malnutritioned", Uffer said at Tuesday's news conference. The 13 children, some of whom are adults, were removed from the home and transported to local hospitals for evaluation and treatment.
Other neighbours described the family as intensely private. Authorities said many of them appeared far younger than their actual age because of poor nutrition.
According to court papers, the couple filed for bankruptcy in 2011, at a time when David Turpin was working as an engineer for defense contractor Northrop Grumman, earning $140,000 a year.
Two years ago, while walking around the neighbourhood admiring Christmas lights and decorations, Ms Milligan said she encountered three of the Turpin children and complimented them on the manger with a baby Jesus set up outside the house. Neighbors said Louise and Allen Turpin were standoffish, never saying hello or interacting with the rest of the neighborhood. The recovery of the children will be "ongoing and long-term", she said.
State Department of Education records show the family home has the same address as Sandcastle Day School, where David Turpin is listed as principal. One neighbour told the Press Enterprise: 'I didn't know there were kids in the house.
Their bankruptcy lawyer, Ivan Trahan, told the New York Times he never met the children but the couple "spoke about them highly".
A Facebook page under the name of David-Louise Turpin - still visible yesterday - includes pictures of the couple staging renewals of their wedding vows from 2011 to 2016, with their children present.