Authorities are currently trying to find out how a California couple managed to keep their 13 kids captive without showing any apparent red flags and raising suspicion in the community.
A 17-year-old girl called 911 after escaping from her parents’ house and told the police how her 12 siblings and herself were locked up in dirty and miserable conditions. The police officers met the girl to interview her and later on hurried to their home in Perris, about 70 miles southeast of Los Angeles. According to the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department, they found several children chained to their beds and padlocks in complete darkness.
David Allen Turpin, 57, and his wife Louise Anna Turpin, 49, are in custody facing charges of child torture and endangerment. They are held in jail, on $9 million bails each.
David Turpin’s parents told ABC News that they had not seen their grandchildren for 5 years. Every time they called to speak to David and his wife, their grandchildren were never available.
The children were sent to the local hospital to be treated. They were given food and drinks since they told the police that they have been starved.
Neighbors said they were stunned to learn about the conditions. One of the neighbors told the Press-Enterprise of Riverside that he was unaware of any children living in that house. Kimberly Milligan, 50, another neighbor said, “I thought the kids were homeschooled. You know something is off, but you don’t want to think bad of people”.
The Turpins moved to California from Texas in 2010, the Los Angeles Times reported.