Hindustan Times (Jalandhar)
13 siblings found starved, chained in California home
PERRIS: A California couple has been charged with torture after police rescued their 13 malnourished children from a home where some of them had been chained to beds, and neighbours on Monday described the family as shut-ins who shunned social contact.
Police made the discovery after a 17-year-old girl escaped the house in Perris, about 113 km east of Los Angeles, and used a cell phone she had found in the house to call them, the Riverside County Sheriff’s Office said.
“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. “The victims appeared to be malnourished and very dirty.”
The children ranged in age from 2 to 29, police said.
The girl, who officers had initially thought was about 10 years old, contacted police on Sunday after escaping the one-story house.
The parents, David Allen Turpin, 57, and Louise Anna Turpin, 49, were arrested and each charged with nine counts of torture and 10 counts of child endangerment. They were ordered held on $9 million bail each.
Neighbours said the Turpins and their children rarely emerged from their unkempt home in the new built development of closely spaced singlefamily houses.
Police said six of the couple’s children were minors, while the other seven were over 18.
The Turpins are due in court on Thursday.