The California authorities have made a gruesome discovery and have rescued more than a dozen starving and filthy young people from their parents’ home in Perris.
Officers made the discovery when one of the captives, a 17-year-old girl escaped over the weekend and notified the Riverside Sheriff’s Department that her siblings “were being held captive inside the residence by her parents,” some of them “bound with chains and padlocks,” the Sheriff’s Department said.
The girl escaped the house in Perris which is located at a distance of 70 miles east of Los Angeles on Sunday. She used a mobile phone she had apparently found in the house to call the Sheriff’s department. Initially the officials believed that the “slightly emaciated” teenager was only 10 years old. They confronted a horrific scene at her home, according to a press release.
The department has stated, “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.”
Upon arriving at the house, thirteen malnourished siblings were found with ages ranging from 2 to 29. Some of them were chained to beds. Six of them were minors and other seven were over 18. The siblings told the officers that they were starving.
The police said in a statement, “Deputies located what they believed to be 12 children inside the house but were shocked to discover that seven of them were actually adults,”
“The victims appeared to be malnourished and very dirty.”
After interviewing both parents, who were identified as 57-year old David Allen Turpin and 49-year old Louise Anna Turpin, authorities arrested them and each were charged with nine counts of torture and 10 counts of child endangerment charges. They were ordered held on $9m bail apiece.
A Facebook page that appeared to have been created by the parents showed the couple dressed in wedding clothes, surrounded by 10 female children in matching purple plaid dresses and three male children in suits.