Police in California have rescued 13 siblings ranging in age from two to 29 who were living in squalid conditions. Their parents, David and Louise Turpin, were charged after one girl escaped and brought the authorities to their home.
A Horrific Tale
A 17-year-old girl called the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department in Perris, California on January 14, 2018 to relay a story out of a horror film.
She told the authorities that her 12 siblings were being held captive by their parents; some were chained to their beds. She had managed to escape with the one phone in the house.
Officials sprang into action and found a nightmarish scene.
Dirty and Malnourished
When police arrived at Muir Woods Road, they encountered a dark and foul-smelling home. All the siblings found inside were dirty and very malnourished. As the 17-year-old girl had said, some were chained and padlocked to their beds.
Seven of the 13 siblings are in their late teens or 20s. Police initially believed they were all children because they were so malnourished.
The 17-year-old girl who had called the authorities looked to be about 10 due to her small, emaciated body, according to the sheriff’s account released January 15.
David Allen Turpin, 57, and his wife Louise Anna Turpin, 49, have been arrested on suspicion of torture and child endangerment. The Turpins are currently being held in jail with bail set at $9.0 million.
The Riverside County Sheriff’s Department is still trying to piece together how this could have happened to the siblings. The Turpins’ neighbors are also wondering how they missed what was going on at the house.
Neighbors spotted the siblings from time to time. Most thought that the Turpins home-schooled their children and didn’t want to interfere.
If you have any information about the Turpin family, you are asked to contact Master Investigator Tom Salisbury at the sheriff’s station in Perris at (951) 210-1000, or by e-mail at [email protected]