New chilling details have been released about the 13 malnourished brothers and sisters who were allegedly kept in captivity by their parents in their Perris, California home.
Police are now saying that the 17-year-old girl who fled the home plotted her escape for two years, the Associated Press reports. Apparently, she wasn’t the only one who escaped on Sunday. Riverside County District Attorney Mike Hestrin announced that another sibling escaped alongside her. However, that sibling retreated out of fear.
After the brave teen girl called 911 using a phone she took from her parents house, the Riverside County Sheriff's Department raided the home where they found “several children shackled to their beds with chains and padlocks in dark and foul-smelling surroundings" while the "parents were unable to immediately provide a logical reason why their children were restrained in that manner.”
The 13 victims, ranging in age from 2 to 29, were found so severely malnourished that even the adults looked like children. Police thought that the 17-year-old girl was 10 years old, which they attribute to the alleged abuse she has suffered.
All 13 victims are currently being treated in a hospital for severe malnutrition. They are so weak that doctors have reportedly worried about them going into shock. They are now receiving antibiotics, vitamins, and nutrients by IV, according to a law enforcement official.
Police are now releasing more details about some of the victims. The eldest victim, a 29-year-old woman, weighs just 82 pounds. Hestrin told the Associated Press that all the victims have cognitive impairment and a lack of basic knowledge of life because of the malnourishment and alleged abuse they experienced.
David Allen Turpin, 57, and his wife, Louisa Anna Turpin, 49, now face potential torture and child endangerment charges, according to NBC News. It is unclear if they have attorneys who can speak on their behalf.
David’s mother has defended him to the media, stating that the couple was a “highly respectable family.”
“They were just like any ordinary family,” said Betty Turpin, 81. “And they had such good relationships. I’m not just saying this stuff. These kids — we were amazed. They were ‘sweetie’ this and ‘sweetie’ that to each other.”