Turpin parents plead not guilty to child torture

Cheryl Sanders
January 19, 2018

Psychiatrists say that even in cases of extreme deprivation, it's common for feelings of helplessness or confusion to lead to staying in place despite opportunities to flee.

All GoFundMe campaigns that claim they benefit the siblings are fake, CPS said. Their health is being looked at. Ranging between 18 and 29, the five female and two male captives of their parents are malnourished but in good spirits as they receive treatment at the Corona Regional Medical Center.

It wasn't immediately known if they had attorneys.

The couple were charged with torture, child abuse, dependent adult abuse and false imprisonment.

Most people would recognize milder forms of the same inaction that is a coping mechanism, whether it's failing to speak out against off-color jokes, enduring sexual harassment or staying in an terrible marriage, said Dr. Bruce Perry.

A Southern California couple accused of keeping their 13 children captive and malnourished in the family's squalid suburban home were scheduled to make a first court appearance on Thursday.

Inside David and Louise Turpin's house officers found several children

Milligan said the children were thin and appeared malnourished.

David Turpin was also accused of sexually abusing one of his young daughters.

When police knocked on the door, three of the couple's children were chained up. Evidence, he added, suggests the victims often were not released from their chains to go to the bathroom. "What started out as neglect became severe, pervasive, prolonged child abuse". Hestrin said the couple were not charged with torturing the 2-year-old, who appeared to have been properly fed. One neighbour told CNN the kids appeared "very pale-skinned, nearly like they'd never seen the sun", while another said they looked "malnourished". The charges involve acts in Riverside County dating to 2010.

Pointing to the children's malnourishment, Hestrin said that a 12-year-old has the weight of an average 7-year-old, and a 29-year-old daughter weighs 82 pounds.

"They would buy pies, apple pies and pumpkin pies, and leave it on the counter and let children look at it, but not let them eat the food".

Medina's plan was still in the early stages but could include an annual walk-through of home and private schools by state or county officials "to ascertain the safety and well-being of the students", he said.

They were only allowed to shower once a year, the children said, and would be punished if they washed their hands above their wrists.

Hundreds of journals were found in the home.

The secret horror was revealed Sunday when one of the children, after two years of planning, escaped and contacted authorities, Hestrin said. He said one of her sisters escaped with her, but returned home out of fear. When police arrived, they found some of the young people shackled to their beds, authorities said. The Turpins eventually escalated, chaining and padlocking the children to their beds for weeks or months at a time. The Riverside County Sheriff's Office described the residence as "dark and foul-smelling". "That's going to take its toll", Captain Greg Fellows of the Riverside County Sheriff's Department said at a press conference on Tuesday.

Neighbors of the family said the Turpins rarely left their house, and had sparse interactions with the parents.

"Deputies located what they believed to be 12 children inside the house, but were shocked to discover that seven of them were actually adults", police said in a statement.

Days after 13 malnourished siblings were removed from a Perris home, authorities gave a disturbing list of acts that were allegedly committed upon them by their parents. No state agency regulates or oversees private schools in California, and they are not licensed by the state Education Department.

The family's Facebook page shows numerous photos of them, apparently happy and smiling, some from Disneyland and others from events where David and Louise Turpin renewed their vows.

The family had lived in Perris since 2014, and the nearby community of Murrieta before then, authorities said.

With a "really, really pale" completion the tortured children "only came out at night", with witnesses likening them to the Twilight film vampires.

A neighbor of the Turpins when they lived in Texas told KTVT that the couple "kept them away from everybody".

"They were very, like, afraid", she said of the children. She says her son shared her Pentecostal Christian faith but he wasn't affiliated with a church in California.

Other reports by iNewsToday