Parents Louise Anna Turpin, 49, and David Allen Turpin, 57, were arrested on Sunday last week and were convicted of child endangerment and torture for holding their 13 children captive in a residence in Perris, California, authorities said on Monday.
The Riverside County Sheriff’s Department stated that the children’s ages ranged between 2 and 29 years.
All of them were locked up with chains and padlocks; they were secured to beds and were all in the same room. They were given almost no food or liquids, and they had limited bathroom access. The conditions in the room where they were held had become filthy and fetid-smelling.
They were held long enough that they had become skinny, weakened, and depressed.
It all ended when one of the children, a 17-year-old girl, managed to escape the room. She found a cellular phone in the house and called 911. She told the police she was at her home where her parents held her 12 sisters and brothers captive in filthy conditions; some of them, as she told the authorities, were locked up with padlocks and chained to beds.
The Riverside Sheriff’s Department said that the girl who called was malnourished, as were the rest of her siblings. They actually believed the girl was 10-years old due to her malnourished state.
The Sheriff’s Department said they immediately went to the house. What they found was shocking and disgusting. Most of the victims were adults, which surprised the police. Five of them were little children. Others were teenagers, but they all looked younger than their actual age due to the conditions in which they were being held. The room they were found in was dark, dirty, and stinky.
On Sunday, the Sheriff’s Department said David and Louise Turpin were accused of child endangerment and torture. Their bail was set at $18 million for the both of them. After the charges were filed, both were taken to the Riverside’s Robert Presley Detention Center.
It still is not clear whether they will enter a plea.
Neighbors were privately questioned, and some of them were interviewed. One of them said she was always suspicious of the family’s house. It seemed to her like no-one was living there, despite being occupied by a large number of family members.
The strange fact was that most of the neighbors never saw the young members of the family, which left the neighbors puzzled about the living conditions in the house.
Really, the whole neighborhood is startled by the reality. For a long time, they lived near a house with enslaved children and adults. Knowing the truth raised questions regarding their own children’s safety, which is only natural, as no-one ever noticed anything obviously concerning around the house, nor did anyone hear any suspicious noises.
Well, now it all becomes clear what was going on there.
When police arrived at the crime scene, neighbors were out and witnessed David and Louise Turpin being arrested and taken to the police station. After that, they saw the rest of the family being taken out of the house, still in their pajamas.
The scene was extremely shocking and saddening to witnesses.
According to one of the interviewed neighbors, the captives were all pale-skinned, emaciated, and stressed-out. Most of them were girls; they were thin, weak, and could barely walk. In the neighbor’s words, they looked like they have never been taken out of the house, so they were definitely pale-skinned.
One of the neighbors was Kimberly Milligan. She said that due to the condition the children were in when found by police, she believed them to be a much younger age than they were—not more than 12-years old. She was surprised to find out they were actually older.
Jennifer Luna, another neighbor, expressed her disgust at what she saw. She couldn’t believe her eyes, feeling horrible about the situation; the rest of the neighbors were shocked. Luna was shaking her head, refusing to believe that such things could still be happening these days. Most neighbors were concerned that it was in their own neighborhood.
Authorities stated that after they were set free, the adult captives were taken for a medical treatment at the Corona Regional Medical Center in Corona. The children were taken for a treatment at the Moreno Valley’s Riverside University Health System Medical Center.
The concerning facts of the situation don’t stop there, though.
According to state records, it appears as if the Turpin’s family residence was listed as a school. On the California Department of Education’s website, David Turpin is listed as the Sandcastle Day School’s principle. The Sandcastle Day School is the same residence where the children and adults were found captive.
On the aforementioned website, the school appears as active, reported as a private institution that serves grades from 1 to 12.
Not only did Louise Turpin and David Turpin hold their own children as victims, but they were also supposed to be teachers, making the whole dreadful story even worse.
Before being listed as a school principal, David Turpin worked as an engineer at Northrup Grumman. According to bankruptcy documents, he was making around $140,000 per year. Louise Turpin was listed as a “homemaker.”
According to the court records as well as public records, the family moved to the Perris residence in 2010. In 2011, they filed for bankruptcy, and since that point, life has only gone down the drain for the Turpin.
Just like the neighbors didn’t see anything that raised suspicion that something horrible was happening inside the Turpins’ house, the same goes for their attorney Ivan Trahan. He was the one who represented David and Louise at their bankruptcy hearing.
In his own words, he found nothing suspicious about the couple, nor did he see any concerning behavior. They all seemed normal to him, especially after the parents displayed love and affection towards their children, showing photos of the family and demonstrating a caring side.
Despite their assets, they were in credit card debt and had a foreclosed farm debt of almost $250,000. Valued at $40,000, the farm is in Rio Vista, Texas.
Ivan Trahan said that their bankruptcy experience hadn’t seemed to be a concern for the couple. He also said that their financial situation was a dead end. The only option for them was to file for bankruptcy.
Trahan was not the only one who claimed the family was acting totally normal.
David Turpin’s mother, Betty, said that they had traveled altogether often, and they also took vacations. It was quite a shock to her as well.
H/T – Source