Authorities in Perris, California, have arrested a husband and wife who allegedly kept their 13 kids, ranging in age from 2 to 29, captive inside their home, with some shackled to their beds and all of them malnourished.
Early Sunday, a 17-year-old girl was able to escape from the house with a cellphone and called 911. When police met the girl, they thought she was about 10 years old because she is so emaciated, the Riverside County Sheriff's Department said in a statement. Police entered the house and found "several children shackled to their beds with chains and padlocks in dark and foul-smelling surroundings," the department said. David Allen Turpin, 57, and Louise Anna Turpin, 49, were "unable to immediately provide a logical reason why their children were restrained in that manner," officials said, and they were both arrested.
Out of the 13 kids, six are minors, but they are so malnourished none of them look their actual age, police said. The children said they were "starving," authorities said, and after being fed they were all taken to the hospital for treatment. Department of Education records show the house has the same address as a private school called Sandcastle Day School, with a principal named David Turpin, The Press-Enterprise reports. The school was founded in 2014, and during the last school year it had six students. Neighbors told The Press-Enterprise they were "devastated" by the news, and said the Turpins were not friendly. When the children were seen, they "only came out at night," neighbor Andria Valdez said, and they "were really, really pale."