One teenager’s escape led authorities to a shocking scene in Perris, Calif.
Early Sunday, a 17-year-old girl fled a residence in the 100 Block of Muir Woods Road, managing to grab a cellphone in the process, according to a Riverside County Sheriff’s Department press release via Nixle alert Monday.
The juvenile told officers that her 12 brothers and sisters were being held captive by her parents at the home, saying some were even bound with chains and padlocks, authorities said.
When Perris Police Department officers and Riverside deputies met with the teen, “she appeared to be only 10 years old and slightly emaciated,” authorities reported.
After interviewing the girl, authorities said investigators contacted her parents – David Allen Turpin, 57, and Louise Anna Turpin, 49.
During an investigation at the home, investigators found what appeared to be 12 children, according to authorities. Officials were “shocked” to find out seven were actually adults, 18 to 29 years old. All of the victims were described as very dirty and emaciated, and several were shackled.
“The parents were unable to immediately provide a logical reason why their children were restrained in that manner,” authorities reported.
The 13 victims ranged in age from 2 to 29, authorities said, and all were interviewed by officers. The victims were given food and drinks, as they said they were “starving.”
All of the victims were sent to medical centers for evaluations and treatment, officials said. Child Protective Services and Adult Protective Services are helping with the investigation.
The parents were detained and taken to the Robert Presley Detention Center, where they were booked on suspicion of torture and child endangerment. Bail has been set at $9 million.