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7:09, 16 January 2018

13 Siblings, Some Shackled to Beds, Have been Held Captive by Parents, Police Say


13 Siblings, Some Shackled to Beds, Have been Held Captive by Parents, Police Say

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A 17-year-old girl who stated she was getting held captive by her parents in her residence about two hours southeast of Los Angeles escaped on Sunday and alerted the authorities, who then rescued her 12 siblings — numerous of whom have been found shackled to their beds and malnourished — the authorities stated on Monday.

The 17-year-old utilised a cellphone she found in the house to contact the police with her startling claim about her siblings being held against their will, the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department mentioned. Officers discovered the girl’s 12 siblings — who range in age from two to 29 — in the foul-smelling property in Perris, Calif., living in the dark without access to sufficient meals or water, the division mentioned.

Some of the young children had been restrained with chains and padlocks. “The parents had been unable to instantly supply a logical purpose why their youngsters have been restrained in that manner,” the Sheriff’s Department mentioned in a statement.

The officers did not instantly recognize that seven of the 13 siblings have been adults due to the fact they had been emaciated. The sheriff’s office stated that the 17-year-old girl who known as 911 looked to be 10 years old.

Their parents, David Allen Turpin, 57, and Louise Anna Turpin, 49, had been both arrested on nine counts every of torture and child endangerment. They had been being held in jail with bail set at $9 million each and every, the authorities said.

The Sheriff’s Department did not say how extended the siblings may have been held captive.

Sheriff’s deputies offered meals and water to the siblings, who claimed they had been starving. They had been later transported to hospitals for therapy. Their situations had been not released.

California records show that Mr. Turpin had received state approval to run a private college, the Sandcastle Day School, at the family’s property, a one-story stucco residence in a subdivision constructed in current years. The school enrolled six students this year, in grades six via 12, and Mr. Turpin was listed as the principal.

The Turpins’ house in Perris, Calif., on Monday. The police stated it was dark inside and smelled foul.CreditSandy Huffaker/Getty Pictures

In a neighborhood where residents typically stroll outside and children run around a nearby playground, the Turpins stood out for never getting seen, neighbors stated. Dennis Cooke, who lives two blocks from their home, mentioned he saw Mr. Turpin once but never ever the siblings.

Roberto Gomez, who lives in the residence behind the Turpins, stated the loved ones kept lights on inside the home at all hours but never ever seemed to come outside. Another neighbor, Julio Reyes, mentioned that last year he saw teenagers mowing the family’s yard and helping place up Christmas decorations.

“They look quite regular,” Mr. Reyes said. “Pretty standard residence, they have good automobiles. It’s just an look.”

Perris, about 70 miles southeast of Los Angeles, is a single of the largest cities in Riverside County, which became an emblem of bankruptcy and foreclosure in the course of the depths of the current recession. Recognized as the Inland Empire, the area has rebounded in current years.

The couple filed for bankruptcy in California in 2011, stating in court documents that they owed amongst $100,000 and $500,000 in debt. At that time, Mr. Turpin worked as an engineer at Northrop Grumman, the defense contractor, and earned $140,000 annually, records show. Ms. Turpin’s occupation was listed as a homemaker.

Their bankruptcy lawyer, Ivan Trahan, mentioned in a phone interview on Monday evening that the parents spoke typically about their young children. They had 12 at the time of their bankruptcy, Mr. Trahan said, adding that the kids in no way visited his law workplace.

“They spoke about them highly,” Mr. Trahan stated.

He said Ms. Turpin told him that the household loved Disneyland in Southern California and visited often.

“We keep in mind them as a very nice couple,” he stated. “This is shocking.”

The Turpins moved to California from Texas about 2010, the parents wrote on Facebook, right after Mr. Turpin returned to perform for Northrop Grumman. On a family photo of the parents and 12 children (the youngest had not but been born) posted on their Facebook web page in 2011, a buddy asked if all the children pictured had been theirs.

“Yes all 12 are our young children and we are very proud of them,” the Turpins replied.

Sandra E. Garcia contributed reporting.

A version of this post appears in print on , on Page A15 of the New York edition with the headline: Parents Place Children in Chains, Police Say. Order Reprints | Today’s Paper | Subscribe

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Published at Tue, 16 Jan 2018 05:27:07 +0000


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