California parents kept their 13 children chained, confined at home
The 13 siblings, aged between 2 and 29, were found “shackled to their beds with chains and padlocks in dark and foul-smelling surroundings”.world Updated: Jan 16, 2018 22:25 IST
The girl looked no older than 10 years old, but turned out to be 17. She managed to escape her confinement and called the police emergency number 911 to complain that she and her 12 siblings were held against their will at home by their parents.
What unfolded in Perris, California was a modern-day house of horrors.
The local sheriff’s office said her siblings, aged between 2 and 29, were found “shackled to their beds with chains and padlocks in dark and foul-smelling surroundings”. Officers were shocked to learn that seven of the 13 children were actually adults — and all of them appeared “to be malnourished and very dirty”.
Their parents David Allen Turpin, 57, and Louise Anna Turpin, 49, were “unable to immediately provide a logical reason why their children were restrained in that manner” the police said. They have been arrested and are being held in custody against a bail amount of $9 million each.
David had previously worked as a defence contractor, while Louise was described as a “homemaker”. A few years ago, the family filed for bankruptcy. Reports said David was permitted to run a private school from their house, listed as Sandcastle Day School. He was named as its principal.
Neighbours told reporters the family largely kept to themselves.