The siblings found chained to their beds in their family home begged police for food after they were rescued following a daring escape by their brave sister, it has been revealed.
The thirteen brothers and sisters – including the 17-year-old girl who fled the home and alerted cops – were all desperately malnourished and pleaded with officers for food and water after they were freed, police say.
The family, from Perris, California, were found by police from Riverside County Sheriff’s Department on Sunday morning. It is not known how long they were chained, padlocked and shackled before they were discovered.
They were only freed after their sister broke out of the home, grabbed a cell phone and called 911, leading police to arrest their parents David Allen Turpin, 57, and Louise Anna Turpin, 49, before charging them with torture and child endangerment.
Parents David Allen Turpin, 57, and Louise Anna Turpin, 49, were arrested and charged with torture and child endangerment
‘The victims appeared to be malnourished and very dirty. Perris Station Detectives were dispatched to the residence for further investigation,’ police said.
‘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.’
The Turpins were between $100,000 and $500,000 in debt when they filed for bankruptcy in 2011, theNew York Times reported.
David Turpin was earning a $140,000 salary at the time at defense firm Northrop Grumman while his wife was stay-at-home mom. He previously worked for Lockheed Martin but left the job in 2011, the Los Angeles Times reported.
Their bankruptcy lawyer, Ivan Trahan, told the New York Times that the couple often spoke fondly of their children but he never saw them.
‘They spoke about them highly,’ Mr Trahan said. ‘We remember them as very nice couple. This is shocking.’
Neighbors said they family were unusual and reclusive, with some saying they did not even know children lived in the home.
Housewife Wendy Martinez, 41, who lives in a home behind the single-story ranch-style property, told DailyMail.com she saw four of the children kneeling in the front yard late at night at the end of October, looking emaciated and pale.
‘They were on their knees, four little kids, and they were just rolling on the grass. It was odd at that time of night.
‘Their mother was in the archway, I just remember the mother in the archway, and I said, hi. There was like no movement, not even to look over to see who’s saying hi, like if they were told not to speak to anybody. ‘
Asked whether she thought the children needed help, she told DailyMail.com: ‘Honestly, I didn’t see like they needed help.’