'Horror house' parents taunted children with toys and pies: prosecutors

Cheryl Sanders
January 19, 2018

The girl - who police said appeared to be "only 10 years old and slightly emaciated" - claimed that 12 of her siblings were being held captive by their parents. Officers initially thought she was about 10 years old.

The siblings ranged in age from 2 to 29 years old.

Police rescued David and Louise Turpin's children from a "foul-smelling" house, where some had been shackled to beds, after one of the siblings escaped and raised the alarm.

The Turpin couple was not able to "immediately provide a logical reason why their children were restrained in that manner", authorities said in a statement.

A forensic psychiatrist has said the California couple charged with torturing their 13 children display "cult-like qualities" and that more serious abuse could come to light.

Riverside County District Attorney Mike Hestrin revealed during Thursday's press conference that the teen girl who fled from her filthy home and called police had been devising an escape plan with her sister for years.

The Riverside County Sheriff's Department said in a release they interviewed the juvenile alongside the Perris Police Department. The Los Angeles Times reported that the Turpin's home address was listed as a private school and David Turpin was named the principle. On top of that, the cruel parents made them sleep all day and stay up all night, and David has also been accused of allegedly sexually abusing one of his daughters who was under the age of 14.

They were all found malnourished, dirty and in horrific conditions, but a doctor said today that they're doing better. Child and Adult Protective Services arrived to assist with the investigation.

Robinette says the children didn't have a social life and weren't allowed to watch TV.

The victims' grandparents said they haven't seen the family for four or five years, but spoke regularly by phone with their son and daughter-in-law.

They both remain jailed on $9 million bail.

Flores said Wednesday that she didn't witness the Turpins abusing their children while she lived with them briefly, but she said she did think they were "really strict".

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