Two parents have been arrested after police found their 13 children shackled to their beds inside the couple’s California home, officials say.
The Riverside County Sheriff’s Department released a statement Monday stating that the victims, who were between the ages of two and 29, were severely malnourished when deputies found them Sunday.
One of the teens, a 17-year-old girl, managed to escape from the Perris, California, home Sunday and called 911 using a cellphone she swiped from home, according to the sheriff’s department.
The 17-year-old told the 911 operator that her parents held she and her 12 brothers and sisters inside their home, bound to their beds with chains and padlocks, authorities said.
When investigators met the girl, they thought she was ten years old instead of 17 because she looked emaciated.
Investigators interviewed the girl and then contacted parents David Allen Turpin, 57, and Louise Anna Turpin, 49.
Deputies arrived at the home to find the 12 other victims chained to their beds “in dark and foul-smelling surroundings” appearing very “malnourished” and “dirty.”
The deputies questioned the parents at the home, but the parents were allegedly unable to explain why their children were being kept in squalid conditions.
Authorities arrested both David and Louise Turpin, booked them into the Robert Presley Detention Center, and charged them with torture and child endangerment. The bail for each is set at $9 million.
The six minors, including the 17-year-old, were transported to Riverside University Health System Medical Center for treatment, authorities said. Authorities said the seven adults are being treated at Corona Regional Medical Center.
The children are in the custody of Riverside Child Protective Services, and the Riverside Adult Protective Services are helping the adults.