Turpin case: Siblings allegedly starved, shackled and taunted with food


Kaylee Bowman , Reporter

Earlier this week, an ordinary neighborhood in Perris, California was in shock due to police findings. From the outside, the brown and beige house looked quiet and orderly, but on the inside, it was nothing less than a living hell. Thirteen siblings were found in a torture chamber within the small four bedroom home. This is a true moment of “you can’t judge a book by its cover” or in this case “you can’t judge a house by its quaint facade.”
The California couple who owned the house purchased it in 2014. The neighborhood is located in an ever growing area, so the house definitely wasn’t secluded. They lived in the home with the original twelve children and had another baby shortly after moving. The couple remained here for three years before their seventeen-year-old daughter escaped through a window and called the police. The sheriff claimed that the call came from a deactivated cell phone that was only able to make emergency calls. She lead them to the house and the bizarre contents it held inside.
The police said they found the thirteen children chained up inside the house. The children ranging from 2-29 years of age were clearly malnourished. The seventeen-year-old that escaped was mistaken by the police for a ten-year-old originally.
Authorities were shown photographs of the family by the escapee which sparked their interest. The mother, Louise Anna Turpin, was confronted and appeared to be extremely perplexed as to why the police were there.  
Turpin, 49, and her husband, David Allen Turpin, 57, were jailed on $9 million bail. Authorities said the pair could face charges of torture and child endangerment.They were scheduled for an initial court appearance on Thursday.
“If you can imagine being 17 years old and appearing to be a 10-year-old, being chained to a bed, being malnourished and injuries associated with that, I would call that torture,” Fellows said.
The siblings all appeared to look alike; not just in facial features, but haircuts and clothing. The boys had Prince Valiant-style hair resembling that of their graying father. Photos show nearly all the girls with shoulder-length brown hair parted in the middle. The father also “homeschooled” the children in his academy, Sandcastle Day School.
Videos on Facebook showed the couple renewing their vows over three times within the past couples of years at an Elvis chapel.
“It’s very disturbing because I felt like I did know them,” the Elvis impersonator, Kent Ripley, told The Associated Press on Tuesday. “I was surprised and shocked and stunned that this could even have been happening.”
He recalled the children looked very thin but said he chalked that up to their lifestyle.
“It didn’t stand out that it would be a physical abuse or lack of feeding,” Ripley said.
Whenever the children were out in public, they were always seen smiling, but the police called the contents within the home “absolutely horrific.”
The children are continuing to work with the police and are attempting to start a new life beyond the confining walls of the “orderly” and “quaint” brown house.