Siblings Found Starved, Chained to Beds in California's House of Horrors


The charges included torture, abuse of a dependent adult, child abuse or neglect and false imprisonment.

At least one of the older male victims attended classes, and Louise Turpin waited outside class for him, Hestrin said.

Their arraignment is expected at 1:30 p.m. Thursday in Riverside. District Attorney Mike Hestrin said he touched one of his daughters under the age of 14 "in a lewd way".

The Riverside County Sheriff's Department confirmed that some of the children were being held with chains in a statement: "several children were shackled to their beds with chains and padlocks in dark and foul-smelling surroundings".

They face up to 94 years to life in prison if convicted on all the charges, Hestrin said.

"There was prolonged abuse, it did involve beatings and strangulations", Hestrin disclosed.

None of the siblings were allowed to shower a few times a year, he said.

"There are cases that stick with you that haunt you", Hestrin said.

Punishments included being beaten and choked, Hestrin said.

Austria has seen two high profile kidnaps - Elisabeth Fritzl was imprisoned and raped over a period of 24 years by her father Josef while Natascha Kampusch was held for eight years by Wolfgang Priklopil before her 2006 escape. Mr Hestrin said the abuse began before that, when the family lived in Texas, a time when the parents lived apart from their children and occasionally visited to drop off food. Flores said the children had to ask permission to speak and they would look to their mother for cues about whether they could answer her when Flores tried to talk to them. The children were told that they could look at the food, but could not eat it, Hestrin said.

"The abuse and severe neglect intensified over time and intensified as they moved to California", Hestrin said.

"Should all the innocent home-school families, who do a great job, should they be intruded upon because of this family?" he said.

Only one of the siblings attended classes outside the home.

"I am extremely concerned about the lack of oversight the state of California now has in monitoring private and home schools", Assemblyman Jose Medina, a Democrat who represents the area, said.

One in four teens can't read basic text, but can work cellphones
The survey was conducted in 26 rural districts in 24 states in the country, across 23,868 households and 28,323 youth aged 14-18. Most indicators for northeastern states fall behind these indicators that represent basic scholastic ability.

The children were found after one of them escaped at around 6 a.m. on January 14.

Authorities arrested the couple Sunday after their 17-year-old daughter grabbed a cellphone, jumped out a window and fled into the night.

Another sibling escaped with her, but turned back out of fear.

"If you can imagine being 17 years old and appearing to be a 10-year-old, being chained to a bed, being malnourished and injuries associated with that, I would call that torture", Fellows said.

The family had lived in Perris since 2014, and the nearby community of Murrieta before then, authorities said. The siblings were so malnourished many of them appeared younger than their actual ages.

Police officers found the children malnourished, undersized and with cognitive impairments after visiting the home after one of the siblings escaped and contacted law officials.

"The defendants were able to get two of the victims unchained before the police actually entered", Hestrin said.

Their mother, however, did not seem to understand why deputies were at the home.

The parents were jailed on $12 million bail each after pleading not guilty Thursday at their first court appearance.

They were taken to a police station for questioning and are now recovering in hospital.

All 13 siblings are believed to be the Turpin's biological children.

The Virginia-based Home School Legal Defense Association said states do not mandate welfare or safety visits at home schools.

Officers found the children living in squalor.

Horrifying details about a California family continued to emerge on Thursday, five days after parents David and Louise Turpin were arrested on charges of torture and child endangerment. They're in good hands.