Parents Charged In Torture Case

The parents of 13 sisters and brothers found malnourished in their family home were charged Thursday with torture, abuse and other counts that could keep them in prison for the rest of their lives, a prosecutor said.

The couple charged with chaining up their 13 children and almost starving them for a "prolonged period of time" have been married for 32 years - with footage showing the couple renewing their vows in Las Vegas.

In a press conference, Riverside County District Attorney Michael Hestrin said that sometimes the children were not even released from their chains to go to the bathroom.

Authorities believe the neglect and abuse started when the family lived in Fort Worth, Texas.

David Turpin, 57, and Louise Turpin, 49, of Perris, California, face charges of torture, false imprisonment and child abuse of their 13 children.

Both Turpins pleaded "not guilty" to all charges in a brief court appearance on Thursday.

Hestrin said authorities investigating the case learned that the 13 children, which ranged in age from 2 to 29, would sleep all day, going to bed around 4 or 5 a.m. usually, and then would be up all night.

According to Hestrin, all the children were severely malnourished and exhibiting signs of muscle wasting.

A primary activity was writing in journals, and Hestrin said investigators were reading through hundreds of them seeking evidence in the case. They had lived there for about 17 years before moving to Murrieta in 2010 and Perris in 2014.

Hestrin said she had been planning her escape for two years.

Ms Flores said she never comfortable with the children's father, David Turpin, due to the time she spent living with the couple while she was in college. He says a 29-year-old female victim weight 82 pounds.

The California siblings who were allegedly held captive by their parents were psychologically taunted by food and new toys - but not allowed to touch them, officials say.

The 17-year-old girl who plotted the escape fled the home through a window with a sibling on Sunday.

The children had not been to a doctor in at least four years and none has ever visited a dentist, Hestrin said.

"One of the reasons for the punishments is that if the children washed their hands above the wrist area, they were accused of playing in the water, and were chained up", Hestrin said. I don't agree with what she did, and her actions have made the whole family suffer."The children's aunt also wished to extend her love to the nieces and nephews she has yet to meet".

Captain Greg Fellows, chief of police for Perris, said that the scenes that his officers found on entering the property were "horrific", but Mrs Perrin seemed "perplexed" that the police had been called.

"A couple of the TV stations talked to some of their old neighbors, who reported runaways from the residence, but we don't have any record of any runaways from that residence", White said.

The sister of Ms Turpin said she felt uncomfortable when she stayed with the family for two months in their previous home.

"We recognize financial gifts will not eliminate their trauma, but these additional resources will be extremely important in helping these victims address their long term educational and physical needs", Erin Phillips, executive director of RUHS Foundation, said in a statement.

  • Leroy Wright