A brave 17-year-old girl escaped her home and called 911 on Sunday to report a horrific situation: she and her 12 siblings were allegedly being held captive by their parents in their home. According to a press release from the Riverside County Sheriff’s Office, the girl said that some of her brothers and sister were being bound up inside the Perris, California home, located about two hours southeast of Los Angeles.
When police arrived, they found the 17-year-old, who looked 10 because of the alleged malnourishment she suffered.
Police then went to the home of her parents -- 57-year-old David Allen Turpin and 49-year-old Louise Anna Turpin. There, they discovered numerous siblings hackled to their beds with chains and padlocks, according to the press release. The home was described as dark and “foul-smelling” by police.
At first, police thought that all victims were children, but they soon learned that at least seven of the victims were adults, ranging in age from 18 to 29. They have all been allegedly abused and malnourished. In all, the 13 victims range in age from 2 to 29. They have been given food and drinks by authorities and both the Child Protective Services and Adult Protective Services are actively involved in the investigation.
As for the Turpins, they are now in custody. Both have been arrested on nine counts of torture and child endangerment. Their bail has been set at $9 million each. It is unclear if they have obtained lawyers yet who can speak on their behalf.
“The parents were unable to immediately provide a logical reason why their children were restrained in that manner,” the Sheriff’s Department said, according to the New York Times.
Neighbor Andrew Santillan told Press-Enterprise: “I didn't know there were kids in the house. I had no idea this was going on.”
Another neighbor, Roberto Gomez, did see the family’s children from time to time. He told the New York Times, “They look pretty normal. Pretty normal house, they have nice cars. It’s just an appearance.”
[Photos: Riverside County Sheriff's Department, Facebook]