Couple held for torturing 6 children, 7 adults inside their California home

Updated: 17 January, 2018 16:39 IST | Agencies | Perris

After 17-year-old girl manages to escape and call police, they find 13 other malnourished children shackled to beds with chains in couple's home

David Allen Turpin and Louise Anna Turpin
David Allen Turpin and Louise Anna Turpin

A California couple has been arrested on charges of torture after authorities said their 13 malnourished children were held captive in their home, with some shackled to beds in the dark. Authorities said they were alerted after a 17-year-old girl managed to escape the house on Sunday and call police using a cellphone she found. She was so emaciated that officers said they originally thought she was just 10 years old. The 13 victims at the house in Perris, California ranged in age from two to 29, the Riverside County Sheriff's Department said in a statement.

Authorities said the 13 malnourished children were held captive in this home. Pic/AFP
Authorities said the 13 malnourished children were held captive in this home. Pic/AFP

"Further investigation revealed several children shackled to their beds with chains and padlocks in dark and foul-smelling surroundings, but the parents were unable to immediately provide a logical reason why their children were restrained in that manner," the statement 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, ranging in age from 18 to 29. The victims appeared to be malnourished and very dirty."  The sheriff's office said "the victims were provided with food and beverages after they claimed to be starving". The parents, David Allen Turpin, 57, and Louise Anna Turpin, 49, were booked on torture and child endangerment charges with bail set at $9 million.

The Spanish-style stucco house where the victims were allegedly held is located in a middle class neighbourhood of Perris. The home boasted three cars as well as a van with tinted windows. One of the cars, a blue compact, had a child's seat in the back. There are indications that the children were allowed outside the house in recent years.

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First Published: 17 January, 2018 08:36 IST

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