The 13 siblings who were allegedly raised in captivity by their parents are now making decisions for themselves. The Turpin siblings from the California “House of Horrors” have been under the watch of nurses after being rescued in January, who describe the siblings as “warm and loving,” reports People.
The lawyer appointed to represent the seven eldest children said that being able to make decisions is a new experience. “That in itself is a new experience for them, understanding that they do have rights and they do have a voice,” said attorney Jack Osborn.
The Turpin children were allegedly kept captive by their parents. The mistreatment they faced included being allegedly shackled to their beds, with food and showers being rationed. Neighbors recount seeing them behave reclusively, even marching in circles at night.
Authorities found the siblings, who ranged in age from 2 to 29, and the community slowly helped them transition into normal life.
“I don’t think the kids even knew what a toothbrush was,” said Bobby Spiegel, president and CEO of the Corona Chamber of Commerce, in late January. “My understanding is the nurses had to teach the kids how to brush their teeth.”
Spiegel and the local Chamber of Commerce were working to take donations for the 13 siblings.
Riverside County District Attorney, Michael Hestrin, echoed the sentiment, stating that the children didn’t know about basic hygiene or services.
“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.”
The siblings are also being exposed to entertainment and technology they had previously never experienced, like using iPads.
“That’s a big deal, deciding what they’re going to read, deciding what they’re going to wear, these are all things that are decisions they make every day that are new and empowering,” Osborn said.
The parents, David Allen Turpin and Louise (seen above), were arrested following discovery of the children. They face several criminal abuse charges. Both parents maintain their innocence.
They are slated to appear in court this Friday for the next hearing in their case.