Mother of 13 Malnourished Children Was ‘Perplexed’ When Deputies Arrived, Captain Says

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RIVERSIDE, Calif. – The mother of 13 malnourished children who were found being held at a filthy, foul-smelling California home, some of them chained to furniture, was “perplexed” when deputies entered the residence over the weekend, a sheriff’s captain said Tuesday.

Louise Anna Turpin, 49, was arrested along with her 56-year-old husband, David Allen Turpin, on Sunday. The Turpins' arrest was announced by the Riverside County Sheriff's Department on Monday, exploding into a story bringing national media attention to the residential community of Perris, some 60 miles east of Los Angeles.

This photo was posted to a Facebook page for "David-Louise Turpin" on May 6, 2016.

This photo was posted to a Facebook page for "David-Louise Turpin" on May 6, 2016.

On Tuesday, authorities answered questions about the case, stressing the investigation was just beginning.

Sheriff’s Capt. Greg Fellows, who serves as chief of Perris police, said conditions in the home were “horrific.” But authorities had never before been called to the Muir Woods Road home, where the family moved in 2014.

After the “courageous” teen got out of the home before dawn and placed her emergency call, deputies came to meet her nearby, the captain said.

She showed the deputies photos that supported her claims that her siblings were being held against their will. The deputies went to the home to do a welfare check.

There, they found three children chained to furniture in a dirty home. The 13 siblings ranged in age from 2 to 29, but the adult children looked like youths.

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

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

“It seemed that the mother was perplexed as to why we were at that residence,” Fellows said.

This photo was posted to a Facebook page for "David-Louise Turpin" on July 10, 2016.

This photo was posted to a Facebook page for "David-Louise Turpin" on July 10, 2016.

It’s not clear how the husband reacted.

The couple was taken to the sheriff’s Perris Station and arrested on suspicion of torture and child endangerment. Investigators will soon present the case to prosecutors for charges.

The parents, Fellows said, showed no signs mental illness. Investigators have no details as yet on any religious organizations connected to the case, the captain said.

The Turpins are being held on $9 million bail each. The children are being treated at area hospitals.


  • john leonetti

    why bring religion into this i can promise you they were not Christians, devil worshipers yes evil scumbags yes

  • Jane Dose

    My heart breaks for these children!! No mental illness?? Just proves that they consciously decided to be so evil!!

  • Starve the starver return the childens favor

    This is sick. Glad the kids are finally free. Parents should be chained up..good luck behind bars parents. They best hope their state puts them in a protective cell. My opinion chain them up and starve them. Jail provides them a clean living area and 3 meals a day a roof over their head and a bed . these are sick headed people . Karma is a S.O.B. they should have chains in jail and starved for at least 29 years the least

  • Go away!

    California is loaded with these left-wing nut jobs. The best thing for that state would be a power slide into the Pacific ocean after a 9.0 earthquake.

  • Think Positive

    There’s only one way these two could have gotten away with this for so long…all of their neighbors and close acquaintances must have been both deaf and blind. Very brave of the 17 year old to run for help. She’s a hero for the siblings, especially the younger ones. But what will the rest of their life be like when they only know THAT kind of life? It’s just so unbelievable they got away with it for so long…….!!!

  • My Word

    You see, here’s the thing about people. There will always be twisted, warped people. There always have been. There is no answer to this horrific situation.

    • Think Positive

      But what’s the deal with all of the people around them, witnessing this for years, and doing nothing?!

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