WHAT’S BEING CLAIMED:
- The parents of thirteen malnourished siblings, ranging in age from 2 to 29, were arrested after California police found some of the children chained inside their home.
- The dire situation was discovered after one of the children escaped their house in Perris and called 911, officials said on Monday.
- The couple, David Allen Turpin, 57, and Louise Anna Turpin, 49, were each charged with 9 counts of torture and 10 counts of child endangerment.
A 17-year-old girl, who police first thought was about 10 years old, called the police on Sunday after escaping their house in Perris, about 70 miles (113 km) east of Los Angeles. She told the police that her parents were holding her 12 siblings captive inside their home.
“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 Riverside County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement released online. “The victims appeared to be malnourished and very dirty.”
The children’s parents were arrested and charged with torture and child endangerment. The bail was set at $9 million each, police said. The parents are scheduled for a court hearing Thursday.
Six of the siblings are under the age of 18, while the other seven are adults. Some of them were found chained to beds with padlocks. They were starving when the officers rescued them. The police statement did not mention the parents’ motive for holding the children captive.
The parents posted photos of the whole family on a Facebook page that seemed to have been created by the couple. Photos include birthday celebrations, renewal of their wedding vows, and visits to Disneyland.
A neighbor, who requested not to be named, answered the phone on Monday and described the neighborhood as recently developed and said he did not know the Turpins. He added that he had not noticed anything unusual.