PERRIS, Calif. – Two Southern California parents are being held on $9 million bail each after a horrific discovery at a residence in Perris over the weekend – 13 malnourished siblings held captive amid dirty conditions, including some children shackled to beds, the Riverside County Sheriff's Department said Monday.
An investigation began after a 17-year-old girl "escaped" from her home in the 100 block of Muir Woods Road and called 911 early Sunday morning to report that her 12 brothers and sisters were being held captive by their parents, according to a sheriff's news release.
She alleged some of her siblings were bound in padlocked chains.
Responding officers initially believed the “slightly emaciated” girl was only 10 years old until she provided her age.
After interviewing the teen, investigators went to the residence and contacted her parents, identified as 56-year-old David Allen Turpin and 49-year-old Louise Anna Turpin, according to the release.
Investigators discovered "several children shackled to their beds with chains and padlocks in dark and foul-smelling surroundings," the release said. The parents could not provide a "logical" explanation for why the kids were restrained, investigators said.
Authorities located what they thought were 12 children, but were "shocked" to find out that seven of them were adults. In all, the victims are between the ages of 2 and 29, the release stated.
They looked to be malnourished and filthy, authorities said.
The victims were taken to the Riverside County Sheriff's Department's Perris Station for interviews; they were provided food and drink after telling investigators they were "starving," according to the release.
The six children and seven adults were then transported to different hospitals for treatment. Their conditions were not immediately known.
Both parents were detained while child and adult protectives services responded to assist in the investigation. After being interviewed, they were each booked at the Robert Presley Detention Center on suspicion of torture and child endangerment, the release said.
The home where the discovery was made is on a cul-de-sac in residential area of Perris, about 60 miles east-southeast of downtown Los Angeles and 19 miles south-southeast from downtown Riverside.
The Riverside County Sheriff’s Department is contracted to operated the Perris Police Department. Deputies assigned to both agencies responded.
Anyone with information about the investigation is urged to call Master Investigator Tom Salisbury at the Perris Station by calling 951-210-1000, or via email at PerrisStation@RiversideSheriff.org.