A 17-year-old California girl bravely escaped from her captors and alerted police that she and her siblings were being held as prisoners — by their own parents.
As CBSLA reports, on Monday, Perris authorities discovered a horrific scene when they arrived at the home and found 12 people being held captive.
The 57-year-old father, David Allen Turpin, and 49-year-old mother, Louise Anna Turpin, allegedly tortured their children who ranged in age from two years old to 29 year old, even shackling them to beds using padlocks and chains to keep them from escaping.
The couple allegedly starved them and kept them hidden inside a home covered in filth, according to authorities.
As the New York Post reports, the sheriff’s department said in a statement:
The parents were unable to immediately provide a logical reason why their children were restrained in that manner.
David’s mother, Betty Turpin, was shocked that her son was hurting his children, calling him a “very good man.”
Betty described the father to the NY Post:
“He is very protective of the kids. Everything is always in order.”
The grandma admitted that she and her husband James haven’t seen their grandchildren in four or five years because of the distance between their home in West Virginia and the kids’ home in California, according to ABC7.
They described seeing a “happy family” during their last visit with the parents and their 13 children. The grandparents said the children were put through “very strict homeschooling,” and had a religious upbringing.
A neighbor of the Turpin family described the children as:
“[…] very pale-skinned, almost like they’d never seen the sun. It was mostly girls. Kind of small-framed, kind of tiny. Almost looked a little malnourished.”
CBSLA reports that Kent Ripley, a Las Vegas Elvis impersonator, renewed the couple’s vows multiple times since 2011 while their children acted as witnesses.
He explained he didn’t notice anything out of the ordinary about the family:
“The family kept growing, so I figured in a couple more years I’d see them again, and then I hear the news today. It’s hard to believe that.”
The six minor children and seven adult children were treated at a Los Angeles-area hospitals after being rescued by police.
David and Louise were charged with torture and child endangerment. Their bond was set at $9 million each.
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