Background photo of the house courtesy KCBS News.
A Perris, California, mother and father are behind bars Tuesday after one of their children escaped their home and reported to sheriff's deputies that 12 of her siblings were still being held captive at their home, some of them shackled with chains and padlocks to their beds.
David Allen Turpin, 57, and Louise Anna Turpin, 49, were held on charges of torture and child endangerment.
David and Louise Turpin are in jail on a $9 million bond. They were "unable to immediately provide a logical reason" why their children were shackled and chained, authorities said. Their ages range from 2 to 29. Officers had at first thought all the children were minors but later realised some were frail and malnourished adults, they said.
Portraits of a family with smiling children wearing matching outfits while in Las Vegas and Disneyland were posted on a Facebook page.
The Riverside County Sheriff's Department says a 17-year-old daughter escaped out a window and called 911 on a cellphone early Sunday. According to investigators, the 17-year-old told police that she and her 12 brothers and sisters were being held by her parents - and that some of her siblings were chained.
While the children were deprived of food, the parents ate well and even taunted the children by putting apple and pumpkin pies on the kitchen counter, but not letting them have any, Hestrin said. All 13 kids were taken to nearby hospitals. David Turpin, he said, also was charged with a lewd act on a child by force or fear of duress. The dogs will be available for adoption, according to officials.
Public records indicate that the couple have lived at the Perris address since 2010 and lived in Texas for many years before coming to California.
Flores said that she wants her nieces and nephews to know that they have family. Following the arraignment, the attorneys for the Turpins say they plan to mount a vigorous defense.
Deputies found some of the children chained to furniture when they entered.
She did not recall hearing about a school run from their home. "We would talk on the phone from time to time, but every time I would ask to talk to her kids, she wouldn't let me", Flores added.
The children had also been denied access to a doctor for the previous four years and had never seen a dentist.
The couple's children - aged two to 29 - lived in Perris, 59 miles (95km) south-east of Los Angeles. "Now that I'm an adult and I look back, I see things that I didn't see then", she said. The Child Protection Office has begun an investigation. "And she told him not to come". One neighbour told the Press Enterprise: 'I didn't know there were kids in the house.
Betty Turpin told the Southern California News Group on Wednesday that they were still in shock from learning that her son and his wife were arrested. "I didn't think that they didn't eat or there was punishment or anything like that", Ripley said.
Roberto Gomez, 45, who lives in the house behind the Turpins, said on Tuesday that the family appeared to leave lights on 24 hours a day and seemed to be more active at night. As great as many home-schoolers are, there also are parents who withdraw their children from public schools at precisely the moment when teachers, who are mandated public reporters of child abuse, start noticing signs of potentially risky family problems and asking questions.