The horrific story of David and Louise Turpin, a Perris, California couple who had allegedly brutally tortured their 13 children for years, continues to unfold. New reports from Inside Edition say that the parents had repeatedly taunted their starving children with food from local stores.
“They would buy apple pies [and] pumpkin pies, put them on counter, let the children to look at it, but not allow the children to eat the food,” Riverside County District Attorney Mike Hestrin said at a press conference.
Previous reports on the situation indicated that the Turpins had severely malnourished their kids through a strict regiment of rationing meals. The siblings, who ranged in age from 2 to 29 years old, were almost never allowed to leave the house. The children were also rarely allowed to shower.
“It was waist-deep in filth. There were dead dogs and cats in there,” said neighbor Ricky Vinyard of the Turpin home. “Everything had locks on it: The closet had locks, the toy chest, the refrigerator ... There were no beds, just mattresses ... There wasn’t a place in that house that wasn’t filthy.”
The situation was discovered when one brave daughter of the 13 children escaped from the house and managed to alert police. David and Louise were arrested and are planning on pleading not guilty to a plethora of charges.
Since the news broke, neighbors have begun placing stuffed animals at the house where the torture occurred as a memorial to the kids' ordeal. Donations to the children have also been flowing in.
“Folks are giving what they can and they're giving generously and I believe it’s because they want these kids to know they are cared for and they are loved,” said Erin Phillips of Riverside University Medical Center, where the children are recovering.
The adult siblings, who also were victimized, are being treated elsewhere.
“I have my best nurses; I have my best physicians," said Marc Uffer of Corona Medical Center. "They're getting everything they need to get into a better place."
Next steps for the family include introducing them to the outside world and placing them with family members who will be able to care for them. Psychologist Rebecca Bailey noted the importance of keeping the kids together considering the trauma they faced.
Meanwhile, investigators are studying the journals kept by the children and will likely use the notebooks as evidence against the parents.
[Photo: Screenshot via YouTube]
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.