Parents Accused of Shackling, Torturing Their 13 Children

'Malnourished and dirty': police find 13 children and siblings chained in California house

Thirteen malnourished siblings ranging in age from two to 29 have been rescued from a house in California where some of them were chained to beds, and their parents have been charged with torture, police have said.

The girl, who officers had initially thought was about 10 years old, contacted police on Sunday after escaping.

When police arrived "the parents were unable to immediately provide a logical reason why their children were restrained in that manner", according to the statement.

In a discovery that has stunned both authorities and neighbors in a suburban Riverside County neighborhood, 13 brothers and sisters who appeared to have been held captive by their parents in a Perris house were found early Sunday, Jan. 14, after one of them escaped and called 911. Parents who may be released against a $ 9 million bail will face court Thursday. While it's not clear that the school's six enrolled students as of previous year were the Turpins' own children, parents who intend to homeschool their children are required to file a Private School Affidavit, according to the state Department of Education website. It was operated out of his home, the same nondescript, suburban residence where the 13 victims were found. It operated out of his home Perris and opened in March 2011. They said they had not visited their son or children in four or five years, but spoke to David once or twice a month.

"With a record number of reports of neglect to the NSPCC Helpline past year in the United Kingdom, we know that more people are speaking up if they're anxious about a neighbour or someone they know".

Milligan also recounted that she once saw some pre-teen children putting up Christmas lights on the Turpin home. "It was mostly girls, they were tiny, they looked a little [malnourished]". One neighbor recalled seeing the young children doing yard work at 11 p.m. one evening. She frequently wondered why the many children never came outside to play. "I can't believe this". Neither Turpin appears to have a criminal record. The couple's attorney has not revealed any motive behind their actions.

David Turpin, 57, is listed as the school's principal. At the time, David Turpin listed his income as a Northrop Grumman engineer as $140,000.

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The couple had about $240,000 in debt, which was mostly from credit cards, the bankruptcy documents state.

As for the Turpins, they are now in custody.

It was not known how long some of them were chained, padlocked and shackled before they were discovered. The couple arrested on multiple counts of child abuse after officials say they starved and tortured their children. "This is a highly respectable family".

All 13 victims were taken to hospitals for examinations and treatment, the sheriff's office said.

Investigators said the unnamed girl had shown them photos of conditions in the suburban property, 59 miles (95km) south-east of Los Angeles. The parents of the male suspect have expressed shock at the news and reportedly said the family was deeply religious and the parents felt called by God to have so many children.

What caught Martinez off-guard was the family's apparent reluctance to interact with her.

Kent Ripley, an Elvis impersonator who was pictured with the Turpin family on several of the couple's vow renewals, told Fox5 Vegas he was "disturbed" by the news. He told the New York Times, "They look pretty normal". Louise Turpin was registered as a homemaker.

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