David Allen Turpin and Louise Anna Turpin are accused of child endangerment after police discovered their 13 children, ranging in age from 18 to 29, had been mistreated inside a home in which several of the children were allegedly “shackled to their beds with chains and padlocks in dark and foul-smelling surroundings.”
The house of alleged horrors was discovered in Perris, California, after one of the teenagers escaped, according to a press release from the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department. The bizarre and troubling allegations were detailed in the release on January 15, 2018. The 17-year-old who escaped was so emaciated that authorities though the teen was only 10-years-old at first, the press release says.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Authorities Were ‘Shocked’ to Release That Some of the Children Were Actually Adults
The people inside the home were so emaciated that deputies assumed they were all children at first, even though it later turned out one was 29-years-old, the release says.
“Deputies located what they believed to be 12 children inside the house, but were shocked to discover that 7 of them were actually adults, ranging in age from 18 to 29,” according to the release.
2. A 17-Year-Old Teenager Escaped From the Home
The horrors might have continued were it not for one of the teenagers who managed to escape from the home, spurring the rescue, according to The Sheriff’s Department.
“Early Sunday morning on January 14, 2018, a 17-year old juvenile escaped from her residence situated in the 100 Block of Muir Woods Road, Perris and managed to call 911 from a cellular device she found inside the house. The teenager claimed her 12 brothers and sisters were being held captive inside the residence by her parents and further claimed some of her siblings were bound with chains and padlocks,” the release said.
3. Authorities Say They Discovered Children Shackled to Beds
Once authorities arrived at the home, they noticed that there was truth to the statement of the escaping teen, the press release indicates.
“Further investigation revealed several children shackled to their beds with chains and padlocks in dark and foul-smelling surroundings, but the parents were unable to immediately provide a logical reason why their children were restrained in that manner.”
4. The Children Were Dirty & Malnourished & Said They Were ‘Starving’, Sheriff’s Officials Say
The sheriff’s officials found the children in an extreme state of need. “The victims appeared to be malnourished and very dirty. Perris Station Detectives were dispatched to the residence for further investigation,” authorities reported.
“All 13 victims, ranging from the age of 2 to 29, were transported to the Perris Station and interviewed. Both parents were detained and transported to the station for further investigation. Child Protective Services (CPS) and Adult Protective Services (APS) arrived to assist in the investigation. The victims were provided with food and beverages after they claimed to be starving.”
5. The Parents Are Accused of Child Endangerment
Showing how seriously the system is taking this case, the bail for each parent was set at $9 million.
“Both parents were interviewed in this matter and subsequently transported to the Robert Presley Detention Center (RPDC). They were booked for violations of California Penal Code Section 206–Torture and Section 273a(A)–Child Endangerment. Bail was set at $9,000,000.00 each,” says the release.