Parents of 13 children in Perris charged with torture

PERRIS, Calif. -- A Perris couple accused of torturing their 13 malnourished adult and juvenile children face up to 94 years to life in prison if convicted of a number of charges filed, authorities announced Thursday.

Several charges filed against the Perris couple include torture, child abuse and false imprisonment. A charge was also filed against father David Allen Turpin of one count of a lewd act on a child.

On Sunday, 13 victims ranging in age from 2 to 29 were found shackled to their beds amid foul conditions in a home in the 100 block of Muir Woods Road. A 17-year-old girl escaped from the residence that day and called 911 using a cellphone she managed to get from inside the home.

RELATED: Aunt of 13 malnourished Southern California children tried to get in touch with family 'for years'

She told authorities she and her other siblings were held captive by their parents. When authorities arrived to help her, they thought the girl was only 10 years old because of how emaciated she looked.

At first, Riverside County sheriff's deputies thought they found 12 children inside the home, but discovered that seven of them were adults ranging in age from 18 to 29.

VIDEO: Mom of 13 allegedly held captive in Perris home was 'perplexed' by arrival of deputies
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The mother of 13 adult and juvenile children, some of whom were chained to furniture in a filthy Perris home, was confused by the arrival of deputies.

Both parents were arrested on suspicion of torture and child endangerment and are each being held on $9 million bail.

On Wednesday, investigators served search warrants to the home, spending about seven hours combing through evidence, and walked out with several boxes, two safes and pieces of wood that appear to have been part of bed frames.

The family at one point also lived in Fort Worth, Texas, and when the Turpins were foreclosed on, the new owners said they found the carpets soiled, windows broken and boarded up, and scratches on the inside of the doors.
At the time, those owners thought the marks might have been from pets, but now aren't sure.

RELATED: Grandparents say 'God called' on Perris couple to have so many children
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The couple accused of shackling 13 children in a filthy Perris home believed God had called on them to have so many kids, according to family members.

Elizabeth Flores, sister of Louise Turpin, spoke to "Good Morning America" in an emotional interview and said she was shocked to hear about the abuse.

She said the Turpins were always private. She said once her father wanted to fly out to see them, but Louise had an odd response.

"She told him not to come. He got the ticket, he was going to surprise her, and he called her to tell her he was coming, and she told him not to come," Flores said.

In recent years, the Turpins never let the family communicate with the children.

RELATED: Sherriff says 13 kept shackled in foul SoCal home by parents

"We begged to see them - the whole family. I've asked for 20 years to be able to Skype them," she said.

The Corona Chamber of Commerce and Riverside University Health System were gathering donations for the siblings.

Child Protective Services received thousands of calls from people who want to help the children and adults who were found extremely malnourished and some chained to beds inside a Perris home.

The Riverside University Health Center Foundation set up a fund to accept donations and the chamber of commerce created a page listing clothing sizes and items needed for the victims. You can access the page by clicking here.
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