Perris couple plead not guilty, held on $12M bail each

David Turpin and Louise Turpin

Starving siblings who were held captive by their parents have been rescued after their courageous sister's bold escape led the police to their property.

Their parents, David Allen Turpin, 57, and Louise Anna Turpin, 49, were arrested and have since each been charged with nine counts of torture and 10 counts of child endangerment.

Flores, who was in her late teens at the time, said her sister wouldn't allow her to invite friends over or allow her to call friends.

Despite her age, deputies at first believed her to be around 10 years old because she was emaciated and malnourished.

The 2015 killing of a 7-year-old Kansas boy who was supposedly being homeschooled prompted calls for reform in that state, though none have gone through.

The suburban Southern California home served as a private school and a prison for the siblings, authorities said.

Investigators found the rest of the Turpins' children - including seven adults - inside a filthy home, with some shackled to beds with chains and padlocks "in dark and foul-smelling surroundings", the sheriff's department said.

The shocking discovery was made on January 14 in the USA state. The torture and false imprisonment charges do not include the 2-year-old, Hestrin said.

The victims' ages range from 2 to 29, but investigators say they all look much younger, likely from stunted growth due to malnourishment.

Neighbors say they were shocked - one, for instance, told ABC he "didn't know there were kids in the house". All 13 kids were taken to nearby hospitals.

The children have also been taken away and are been treated.

The family's Facebook page shows numerous photos of them, apparently happy and smiling, some from events where David and Louise Turpin renewed their vows. As great as many home-schoolers are, there also are parents who withdraw their children from public schools at precisely the moment when teachers, who are mandated public reporters of child abuse, start noticing signs of potentially unsafe family problems and asking questions.

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One of the few people who had contact with the family is a Las Vegas Elvis impersonator.

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The girls all had matching hair cuts and the boys all sported bowl cuts.

The childrens' grandparents said they were given "very strict homeschooling" that required them to memorize long Bible passages.

James Turpin of Princeton, West Virginia, told The Associated Press Tuesday that all 13 children are David Turpin's biological kids.

"If I went to get in the shower, he would come in while I was in there and watch me. I didn't know there were kids in the house".

The Turpins are scheduled for a court hearing Thursday.

The aunt of the kids has revealed how they were raised in a weird cloak of secrecy. She recalled how the children's lives were extremely regimented when she lived with them two decades earlier.

"If I did the calculation on my hand right, I think it was the one that was named after me that did that", she said.

"We have been so anxious about them because it's been so unusual, but there was nothing we could do".

It wasn't immediately known if they had attorneys. "Well now that I'm an adult, and I look back, I see things that I didn't see then", she explained.


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