Over the weekend, a 17-year-old girl escaped from her Perris, California home to report horrific abuse that she and her 12 siblings were enduring, allegedly at the hands of their parents David Allen Turpin and Louise Anna Turpin. Police found her siblings, some of them allegedly shackled, in their parents home. Here are 8 disturbing details about the case.
1. The victims were diverse in age
The 13 victims range in age from 2 to 29. Some of them were allegedly found bound to their beds with chains and padlocks. They were reportedly all siblings.
2. Police thought they were all children
Because of the alleged malnourishment they all suffered, police initially thought all victims were children. At least seven of the victims were adults, ranging in age from 18 to 29. The brave 17-year-old girl that called police? The cops thought she was about 10 years old, according to a police press release.
She "appeared to be only 10 years old and slightly emaciated," the Riverside County Sheriff's Department said.
3. The home was dark and dirty
The Turpins’ home has been described as dark and “foul-smelling” by police. It has also been called "filthy."
4. The parents couldn’t explain anything
Police have arrested 57-year-old David Allen Turpin and 49-year-old Louise Anna Turpin, the parents of the 13 people.
“The parents were unable to immediately provide a logical reason why their children were restrained in that manner,” the Sheriff’s Department has said, according to the New York Times. It is unclear if they have lawyers.
5. The parents dressed the 13 siblings up in matching outfits
Multiple photographs on social media reveal that the family was often dressed up in identical outfits, including at the parent’s wedding vow renewal in Las Vegas. In group photos, the family appeared to be happy.
6. The dad ran a private school
David Turpin apparently ran a small school out of his home. He was both the administrator and the principal of Sandcastle Day School, according to the California Department of Education. Authorities believe the only students were his own children, who were homeschooled. That aspect is being investigated further.
7. Grandma seems annoyed that the parents are in jail
David Turpin's mom Betty told CNN that "we feel like one side of the story has been reported. This is a highly respectable family."
8. Another relative was shut out of family
Elizabeth Jane Flores, the sister of Louise Anna Turpin, has told ABC News' "Good Morning America" that the family “just shut us out of her life."
"I want to reach out to the kids, I want them to know that for years we begged to Skype, we begged to see them, the whole family,” she said.
[Photos: Riverside County Sheriff's Department, Facebook]
Crime Time is your destination for true crime stories from around the world, breaking crime news, and information about Oxygen's original true crime shows and documentaries. Sign up for our Crime Time Newsletter and subscribe to our true crime podcast Martinis & Murder for all the best true crime content.