A Perris couple with thirteen children was taken into custody on Sunday when one of their teenagers snuck out of their home and called 911 to report that her parents were holding her hostage with her 12 siblings.
57-year-old David Allen Turpin and his wife, 49-year-old Louise Anna Turpin, have been married for 34 years. The couple share 13 children, the youngest of which is 2-years-old and the eldest 29.
The Turpin parents homeschool their children, and Mr. Turpin serves as the principal of the Sandcastle Day School; a state approved facility that operates out of the Perris residence. Records reflected six of the children were enrolled this year, and they were being instructed in sixth grade through twelfth grade materials.
On January 14, David and Louise Turpins’ 17-year-old daughter left the family home through a window while carrying an inactive cellphone. The phone possessed the capability to call for emergency services even though it was not activated, and the teen called 911. She reported that her parents were keeping her and the rest of their children captive, and in unsafe conditions.
Officers dispatched and located the girl, who they stated they believed was 10-years-old based on her size, and she shared pictures with them that caused them to further investigate the situation.
When police arrived at the Turpin home they allegedly discovered the environment was disheveled and it had a bad odor. They then came across three of the children secured to their bedframes with padlocks. All of the Turpins’ children were found in an unkempt state and undernourished to the point that the authorities believed they were all underage, though it was discovered that seven of them were between the ages of 18 and 29.
The children and adult victims were transported to medical facilities for assessment and treatment, and they were given nourishment. Their parents were taken into custody.
David and Louise Turpin each face nine counts of torture and ten counts of child endangerment. They are being held on $9 million bail respectively, and they are awaiting their arraignments.
The Riverside Sheriff’s Department disclosed that “the parents were unable to immediately provide a logical reason why their children were restrained in that manner.”
Child protective services reported that they had never visited the Turpins’ home before, and interviewed neighbors stated that they rarely saw the children but they were surprised to learn of the claims.
If you or someone you love is suspected of child endangerment, contact Orange County criminal defense lawyer Staycie R. Sena at (949) 477-8088 for a consultation now.