World News

Dad who abused 13 kids also spied on showering sister-in-law

Dad who abused 13 kids also spied on showering sister-in-law

The Turpins were arrested and charged with child endangerment and torture on Sunday after police discovered 12 of their children locked inside their home, some chained to furniture and starving, in Perris, California.

The parents, 49-year-old Louise Anna Turpin and 57-year-old David Allen Turpin, were jailed on $9 million bail.

The 13 victims, ranging in age from 2 to 29, were found so severely malnourished to the point that even the adults looked like children.

Neighbors said they knew a large family lived there, CNN affiliate KABC reported, but they never saw any of the younger children.

One of their children, a 17-year-old girl, escaped from the home with a cell phone and called 911.

The Riverside County Sheriff's Department said it had never been called to the home while the family lived here, nor had the Riverside County Department of Public Social Services.

Officials say the mother seemed "perplexed" as to why investigators were questioning her about the condition her kids were living in.

The family posted to Facebook photos of several trips to Las Vegas, where David and Louise renewed their wedding vows before an Elvis impersonator as the children-all the girls in identical plaid dresses and the boys in dark suits like their father's.

David Turpin's mother, Betty, said she doesn't have any information about the case. "They immediately shut down". Worth, Texas home reportedly says the house "was left in complete squalor".

One neighbor said the kids appeared "very pale-skinned, nearly like they'd never seen the sun".

The house was run-down, and when family members were out, they avoided contact with neighbors, Julie Olha told NBC News.

More news: French Film Legend Brigitte Bardot Slams "Hypocritical and Ridiculous" #MeToo Movement

But a worker at the office of the Turpins' bankruptcy lawyer, Nancy Trahan, said they were friendly and seemed "like very nice people", and spoke highly of their children.

But her sister and brother-in-law, Louise and David Turpin, kept such a secret life that they wouldn't let her in.

Neither sheriff's deputies nor child welfare officials received a single call over the years about the Turpin home, he said.

David and Louise Turpin were arrested after police swooped on the home and were met with "horrific" scenes in conditions that amounted to "torture".

No state agency regulates or oversees private schools in California, and they are not licensed by the state Education Department.

The siblings were home-schooled, authorities said, adding there is no indication there were any other children at the home, but the investigation is ongoing. "We didn't know where they went".

"I want to reach out to the kids", Elizabeth Jane Flores told Robin Roberts. "There's no words", Teresa Robinette said.

One neighbour, who dubbed them the "vampire family", said the their children only came out at night. "I never dreamed they had all them kids".

USA media reports say Louise Turpins' parents had tried to visit her over the years but that she had refused to provide them with an address.

"In hindsight, we would have never thought this, but there were red flags".

Appearing on Good Morning America, Flores explains, 'If I were to get in the shower, he would come in while I was in there and watch me.


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