Police find 13 emaciated siblings aged from 2 to 29 in Perris home with some chained to beds as parents are arrested
David Allen Turpin and Louise Anna Turpin are being questioned by cops after children and adults were discovered ‘shackled to their beds in dark and foul-smelling surroundings’
Two parents have been arrested after police discovered 13 emaciated siblings bound with chains and padlocks inside a house in California.
Early on Sunday morning, a 17-year-old girl managed to escape from an address in Muir Woods Road, Perris, Riverside County Sheriff’s Department said.
After managing to call 911 from a mobile phone, the teenager told officers her 12 brothers and sisters were being held captive inside the house by her parents.
After a brief interview with the teen, who police said looked 10-years-old, officers contacted 57-year old David Allen Turpin and 49-year old Louise Anna Turpin.
“Further investigation revealed several children shackled to their beds with chains and padlocks in dark and foul-smelling surroundings, but the parents were unable to immediately provide a logical reason why their children were restrained in that manner,” a police statement read.
Deputies found 12 people inside the house, seven of whom were adults ranging in age from 18 to 29.
“The victims appeared to be malnourished and very dirty,” the statement continued.
“All 13 victims, ranging from the age of two to 29, were transported to the Perris Station and interviewed.
“Both parents were detained and transported to the station for further investigation.
“Child Protective Services (CPS) and Adult Protective Services (APS) arrived to assist in the investigation.”
The victims were provided with food and drink after claiming to be starving, a police spokesman said.
“The six children were eventually transported to the Riverside University Hospital System (RUHS) for medical examinations and admitted for treatment.
“The seven adult children were transported to Corona Regional Medical Center for an examination and admitted for medical treatment.
“Both parents were interviewed in this matter and subsequently transported to the Robert Presley Detention Center (RPDC).
“They were booked for violations of California Penal Code Section 206–Torture and Section 273a(A)–Child Endangerment. Bail was set at $9,000,000.00 each.”
David Turpin & Louise Turpin: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know
David Allen Turpin and Louise Anna Turpin, a California engineer and his homemaker wife, are accused of shackling some of their 13 starving children to beds with chains and padlocks in “dark and foul-smelling surroundings,” an alleged house of horrors that was discovered when one of the teenagers escaped.
Authorities allege that the Perris, California couple, who ran a day school out of their home and were beset with financial problems in recent years, abused their children, who ranged in age from 2 to 29, according to a press release from the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department. The bizarre and troubling allegations were detailed in the release on January 15, 2018 after the 17-year-old escaped and led authorities to the other children. The escaping teenager was so emaciated that authorities thought the teen was only 10-years-old at first, the press release says.
David Turpin is 57, and his wife Louise Turpin is 49. Records show they run a school at their home, according to The Press-Enterprise. They were confronted by authorities at the home and taken into custody, according to the news release. In 2011, when the couple declared bankruptcy, David Turpin listed his occupation as an engineer for a global security company/defense contractor, and Louise Turpin was listed as a homemaker.
1. Authorities Were ‘Shocked’ to Learn That Some of the Children Were Adults & Photos Show The Turpins on Disneyland Trips & With an Elvis Impersonator
The people inside the home were so emaciated that deputies assumed they were all children at first, even though it later turned out one was 29-years-old, the release says.
“Deputies located what they believed to be 12 children inside the house, but were shocked to discover that 7 of them were actually adults, ranging in age from 18 to 29,” according to the release. The 13th child is the one who alerted authorities.
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
The couple shared a joint Facebook page. Most photos showed them with an infant or together, including renewing their vows with an Elvis impersonator. Several photos showed all of the children, sometimes wearing matching clothing. The children do not look emaciated in the pictures, although all of the photos are at least more than a year old. “Beautiful picture. 12 and one more. I think it is called, ‘The Dirty Dozen,’” a friend wrote under a family picture.
Friends made typical comments on photos as if the family was a loving one. “is okay you guys look like your having just as much fun as the kids,” wrote one friend on a photo of the couple at Disneyland. Another wrote, “I watched your wedding video. It was great. Your children are so well behaved. I am so proud of you Louise and David. You have a great family.”
The Turpins’ cover photo showed the children in matching purple dresses with the smallest child in front. It was posted in July 2016, and the children appear normal in it. There are no new public photos of the family since July 2016. The photos show that nine of the older children are girls.
“Beautiful family,” a friend commented on one family photo. Other photos showed an infant child on Santa’s lap. Other photos show the children posing with Mickey Mouse and other Disney characters.
2. The Turpins Once Declared Bankruptcy & The Escaping Teenager Alleged Her Siblings Were ‘Bound With Chains & Padlocks’
The horrors might have continued were it not for one of the teenagers who managed to escape from the home, spurring the rescue, according to The Sheriff’s Department. Authorities say the teen managed to get a cell phone inside the home and used it to dial 911.
“Early Sunday morning on January 14, 2018, a 17-year old juvenile escaped from her residence situated in the 100 Block of Muir Woods Road, Perris and managed to call 911 from a cellular device she found inside the house,” the release said.
“The teenager claimed her 12 brothers and sisters were being held captive inside the residence by her parents and further claimed some of her siblings were bound with chains and padlocks,” added the release.
Court records show the Turpins declared bankruptcy in 2011.
At the time of the bankruptcy, the couple was living in Murrieta, California. Although they had a lot of mouths to feed, the court records indicate that David Turpin earned more than $11,000 a month working as an engineer for Northrop Grumman, a global security company in San Diego. He also received QuickSilver royalties, the court records showed. It’s not clear where Turpin was working at the time of his arrest.
However, the family was struggling with credit card and other debt, including from a farm foreclosure, in 2011, the records show. David Turpin listed a 401K from Lockheed Martin as an asset. It had more than $80,000 in it. The couple’s bankruptcy attorney, Ivan Trahan, told The New York Times that the couple spoke often and “highly” about their children, and that they had 12 at the time of the filing.
3. The Family’s Home Registers to a Day School & Children Were Found Shackled to Their Beds, Authorities Say
The family’s home address matches county records that “indicate that the Turpins own a property at 160 Muir Woods Road. That address matches that of Sandcastle Day School, whose principal, state Department of Education Records say, is David Turpin,” reports The Press-Enterprise.
According to the newspaper, “The state records say Sandcastle, a private school, has an enrollment of six: one student in each of the fifth, sixth, eighth, nine, 10th and 12th grades. The school was founded in the 2014-15 school year.”
Once authorities arrived at the home, they noticed that there was truth to the statement of the escaping teen, the press release indicates.
“Further investigation revealed several children shackled to their beds with chains and padlocks in dark and foul-smelling surroundings, but the parents were unable to immediately provide a logical reason why their children were restrained in that manner,” the release alleges.
4. A Friend Called Louise Turpin a ‘Super Mom’ But the Children Said They Were ‘Starving’, Sheriff’s Officials Say
UPDATE: Booking Photos Torture/Child Endangerment Investigation in Perris pic.twitter.com/4IdK7vPB2n
— Riverside County Sheriff’s Dept (@RSO) January 15, 2018
In 2012, a friend wrote on the Turpins’ Facebook page: ” Louise Turpin is a super mom. I really couldn’t have handled it. i KEPT BUSY FROM MORNING UNTIL NIGHT WITH MY FOUR.” Another friend wrote, “Blown away how I have my hands full with just one and look at you!”
However, sheriff’s officials say they found the children in an extreme state of need. “The victims appeared to be malnourished and very dirty. Perris Station Detectives were dispatched to the residence for further investigation,” authorities reported.
“All 13 victims, ranging from the age of 2 to 29, were transported to the Perris Station and interviewed. Both parents were detained and transported to the station for further investigation,” reported sheriff’s officials. “Child Protective Services (CPS) and Adult Protective Services (APS) arrived to assist in the investigation. The victims were provided with food and beverages after they claimed to be starving.”
According to the Press-Enterprise, neither parent has a serious criminal history in California.
5. The Parents Are Accused of Child Endangerment & Are Being Held on $9 Million Bail Each
Showing how seriously the system is taking this case, the bail for each parent was set at $9 million.
“Both parents were interviewed in this matter and subsequently transported to the Robert Presley Detention Center (RPDC). They were booked for violations of California Penal Code Section 206–Torture and Section 273a(A)–Child Endangerment. Bail was set at $9,000,000.00 each,” says the release.