The 13 children of Louise Anna Turpin, 49, and her husband, David Allen Turpin, 57, were found shackled and malnourished in their California house on Monday, after their 17-year-old daughter escaped confinement and called police.
Now, Louise Turpin’s sister, Elizabeth Jane Flores, 41, from Cleveland, Tennessee, is speaking out about the astonishing revelations of horror discovered in her sister’s home.
The 17-year-old girl said several of her siblings had been chained up and allegedly tortured by their parents. When officers met the girl, she appeared to be about 10 years old and emaciated. Inside the house police found several children chained to beds in putrid surroundings.
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.
After the children were discovered, Flores spoke to The Daily Mail, and said she was never allowed to visit her sister or her nieces and nephews.
From the Daily Mail:
“Something didn’t seem right about her parenting but never would I have expected it to be like this,” Flores told DailyMailTV. “We have been so worried about them because it’s been so strange but there was nothing we could do. They wouldn’t let anyone visit and we didn’t know their address. I haven’t seen her in 19 years. We would talk on the phone from time to time, but every time I would ask to talk to her kids, she wouldn’t let me.”
Flores, a mother of seven, says their parents had even flown out to visit the family but Turpin would not give them an address.
“She never let us talk to her kids. She wouldn’t even accept my Facebook request. We all wondered what was going on. My parents booked several flights to go see them but when they got there they wouldn’t tell them where to go and my parents left crying every time. They died before they got to see them again. It’s just heartbreaking and I’m so embarrassed about all of this.”
Police said the siblings were all desperately malnourished and pleaded with officers for food and water after they were freed. It is not known how long they were chained, padlocked and shackled before they were discovered.
Neighbor Wendy Martinez told the Daily Mail that she saw four of the children kneeling in the front yard late at night at the end of October.
“It was about 9pm at night and we came around right here and at the gate, we saw four children inside,” Martinez said. “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,” Martinez continued. “No movement, like if they were told not to speak to anybody. The mom, no movement at all.”
Martinez said that the children did not seem to be in need of help.
The Turpins were understood to be running a school from the house, but neighbors saw no sign of that. Neighbor Janeece Calhoun reportedly said there was “never anybody coming in or out” of the house.
Neither of the Turpins have a serious criminal record. They are being held at Robert Presley Detention Center near Los Angeles, and their bail has been set at $9 million. They will appear in court on Thursday.
David and Louise Turpin renewed their vows at least three times in Las Vegas. All thirteen children attended. The video below was taken during one ceremony.
David and Louise Turpin, who are facing charges of torture and child endangerment, renewed their vows at least three times in Las Vegas. All thirteen children attended the most recent ceremony and the chapel’s Elvis impersonator remembers the family: pic.twitter.com/qg7T8QNPVJ
— CBS News (@CBSNews) January 16, 2018
Surveillance video showing David Allen Turpin and Louise Anna Turpin taken into custody in Perris, California:
DISTURBING DISCOVERY: @ABC has obtained surveillance video showing David Allen Turpin and Louise Anna Turpin taken into custody in Perris, California; the couple is being held on $9 million bond each for allegedly their holding 13 children captive. https://t.co/SVGeHg5eKc pic.twitter.com/7kXIRRsABx
— World News Tonight (@ABCWorldNews) January 16, 2018