The local community is working to help the victims of the “House of Horrors” live a normal life. According to People, the people of Riverside County, California are coming together to help the Turpin children (ages 2 to 29) transition from captivity into a modern life, including learning basic things like how to use a toothbrush.
“I don’t think the kids even knew what a toothbrush was,” says Bobby Spiegel, president and CEO of the Corona Chamber of Commerce. “My understanding is the nurses had to teach the kids how to brush their teeth.” Spiegel and the Chamber of Commerce have been working to take donations for the 13 siblings. Thus far, they have approximately $70,000 in monetary contributions.
Last week, the Riverside County District Attorney, Michael Hestrin, echoed the sentiment, stating that the children didn’t know about basic hygiene or services that most take for granted. “They lack a basic knowledge of life,” he said. “Many of the children didn’t know what a police officer was. The 17-year-old, when asked if there was medication or pills in the home, didn’t know what medication or pills were.”
As previously reported, the Turpin children were allegedly kept captive and malnourished by their parents, David and Louise Turpin. Reports have surfaced that the Turpin parents rationed meals and even showers from the children.
The eldest child did attend a local community college and a former classmate says that he appeared distressed. "I could see sadness in his face," she recalled. "His eyes – he never wanted to make eye contact with anyone."
On January 14, the 17-year-old daughter fled and authorities came to know about the home. On January 18, the Turpin parents (seen above) were charged with a host of crimes: multiple felony counts of torture, child abuse, abuse of dependent adults and false imprisonment. The father was also charged with one count of a lewd act on a child by force. "I will tell you as a prosecutor, there are cases that stick with you, they haunt you," District Attorney Mike Hestrin said. "Sometimes in this business we are faced with human depravity. That is what we are looking at here."
The Turpins have pleaded not guilty to the charges.