Like a scene out of a nightmare, a 17-year-old girl escaped from a nondescript California home on Sunday and called 911 on a cellphone she had found in the home to reveal that several of her siblings had been chained up and allegedly tortured by their parents.
According to police in Perris, California, a husband and wife have been apprehended on suspicion of torture and child abuse after police found several of the couple’s children chained to beds in putrid surroundings.
When officers from Perris and deputies from the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department met the girl, she appeared to be about 10 years old and emaciated, police said. Inside the house, officers found “several children shackled to their beds with chains and padlocks in dark and foul-smelling surroundings,” according to a statement in the LA Times.
In all, police counted 13 siblings living at the house, including the teen who escaped.
Facebook photos posted in 2016 on account under name of Perris couple arrested in alleged torture of 13 children show apparent wedding, matching outfits https://t.co/YKDu3JckFi pic.twitter.com/lWWmcgOwen
— KTLA (@KTLA) January 15, 2018
The youngest child discovered there was 2 years old. All 12 found in the house appeared to police to be minors and malnourished, but authorities learned that seven of them were in fact adults; ranging in age from 18 to 29.
It was not clear from the police statement how many of the children were found chained to their beds.
Disturbing. Couple who held their 13 biological children ranging from ages 2-29 hostage in chains and shackles in Perris, California. pic.twitter.com/xCAU8UUfYO
— Ashley Roybal (@ashleyroybal) January 16, 2018
Police gave food and drinks to the children, who “claimed to be starving,” before they were admitted to hospitals.
The parents have been identified as David Allen Turpin, 57, and Louise Anna Turpin, 49, according to the LA Times. Both are currently being held in jail in lieu of $9-million bail.
Public records show couple’s home is also listed in a state Department of Education directory as the location of the Sandcastle Day School, a private K-12 campus that opened in 2011. Turpin is listed as the principal.
Parents arrested on suspicion of torture, child endangerment after 13 of their kids, ranging in age from 2-29, found shackled w/ chains, padlocks in Perris home https://t.co/sEwrsUdWNn pic.twitter.com/O9a1KLL807
— ABC7 Eyewitness News (@ABC7) January 15, 2018
Public records indicate the Turpins have lived at the address since 2010. Prior to that, they lived in Texas. They have twice declared bankruptcy.
Anyone with additional information is encouraged to contact Master Investigator Tom Salisbury at the Perris Station at (951) 210-1000, or by email at [email protected]
Thirteen siblings, ranging in age from 2 to 29, have been rescued by police in California from a house where some of them had been chained to beds, and their parents have been charged with torture. #Perris #7News https://t.co/5NZezyXw9d
— 7 News Brisbane (@7NewsBrisbane) January 16, 2018
— Shane Newell (@journoshane) January 15, 2018