California community rallies behind 13 victims in 'house of horrors' case

Turpin family house and parents David and Louise

Since arresting David and Louise Turpin earlier this week, authorities said they have learned the children were confined to the house, chained to furniture, starved and often deprived the use of a toilet.

They both deny the allegations against them and face up to 94 years in prison if convicted of the charges.

"We can assume that there could be depression and nightmares", said Ochberg, a key prosecution witness in the trial of Ariel Castro in Ohio. David is also charged with lewd act on a child under 14 by force or fear. On Sunday, a 17-year-old girl escaped the home before dawn, called 911 and drew deputies to the residence, where they uncovered a disturbing case of extreme alleged child abuse that has captivated global attention. The 17-year-old victim who alerted authorities had been working on the escape plan for two years.

And until the girl fled with photographic evidence, it appears no one, neither neighbours nor public officials, knew anything about what was happening inside. And she said, 'I feel so very fortunate with the experiences I've had in life as I see this unfolding before me'.

Last week, a 17-year-old girl escaped from her Perris, California home to report horrific abuse that she and her 12 siblings were allegedly enduring at the hands of their parents, 57-year-old David Allen Turpin and 49-year-old Louise Anna Turpin.

An aunt of the children that were found chained up recently told reporters that she was not allowed to visit them.

Authorities say the siblings are malnourished and undersized, with cognitive impairment and other problems.

"I'm going to talk with the children, find out the real story on this as soon as I can get a call through to them", James Turpin told The Associated Press.

David and Louise Turpin in court
REUTERSDavid and Louise Turpin were both arrested and charged with multiple counts of torture and abuse

He alleged that David and Louise Turpin would punish their children by keeping them chained to their beds for weeks or months at a time.

The couple's victims range in age from 2 to 29 years old.

MIKE HESTRIN: One victim at one point was tied up and hogtied.

The children lack basic knowledge of life, and did not know who a police officer was. The malnutrition was so severe that the district attorney said the 12-year-old child is the weight of an average 7-year-old and that the 29-year-old daughter weighs only 82 pounds.

Elizabeth Jane Flores, the sister of Louise Turpin, has opened up about her abusive childhood, saying she was sexually abused and saw her mother beaten and raped. The torture and false imprisonment charges do not include the 2-year-old, who was not malnourished.

Neighbors say that the family kept to themselves, and when the children did come out, they did not look healthy.

"The city of Perris created this GoFundMe page to show our concern for the victims of this awful tragedy and support them in their recovery".

Hundreds of journals have been found in the home where the thirteen children were held captive. He never met the family who lived there before him, but he said he found an envelope of photos showing school-age children after an extensive cleanup. She said her son shared her Pentecostal Christian faith but he wasn't affiliated with a church in California.

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