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Police: 13 siblings held captive in California residence
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Police: 13 siblings held captive in California residence

13 Siblings Held Captive In California "House of Horrors"

Police: 13 siblings held captive in California residence

Update 1:20 p.m. Jan. 16: Officials said at a news conference Tuesday afternoon that the 13 siblings taken from a California home after they were held captive by their parents for an undisclosed period of time are recovering.

The siblings, who range in age from 2 to 29, were in stable condition Tuesday.

“They’re very friendly, they’re very cooperative and I believe that they’re hopeful that life will get better for them after this event,” said Mark Uffer, CEO of the Corona Regional Medical Center.

Riverside County Sheriff's Department Capt. Greg Fellows said Louise Anna Turpin, the mother of the children, was “perplexed” when police arrived at the family’s home Sunday. Authorities said they had received no prior calls to the house and said there were no early indications that either Linda Anna Turpin or her husband, 57-year-old David Allen Turpin, had any history of mental illness.

Original report: A California couple was arrested Sunday after 13 siblings, ranging in age from 2 to 29, were allegedly held captive in a home, with several children “shackled to their beds with chains and padlocks in dark and foul-smelling surroundings,” the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department said Monday.

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In a news release, the Sheriff’s Department said David Allen Turpin, 57, and Louise Anna Turpin, 49, were arrested and charged with torture and child endangerment. Bail was set at $9 million apiece, according to the news release.

Early Sunday, a 17-year-old called 911 and said she had escaped from her residence in Perris, according to the Sheriff’s Department. The teenager claimed that her 12 brothers and sisters were “being held captive” in the residence by her parents. 

When deputies met with the teen, she “appeared to be only 10 years old and slightly emaciated.” Deputies went to the residence and said they were “shocked” to find the teen’s 12 siblings, seven of whom were adults ranging in age from 18 to 29. All of them appeared to be “malnourished and very dirty,” according to the release.

The parents were subsequently arrested, deputies said.

The six children, including the teen who escaped, were taken to a hospital in Moreno Valley for treatment, deputies said. The adults were being treated at a hospital in Corona.

David Turpin’s parents, James and Betty Turpin of West Virginia, told ABC News they were surprised and shocked at the allegations, KABC reported.

According to the California Department of Education website, David Turpin is listed as principal of the Sandcastle Day School, which was operated out of his home. The address listed for the school is the same residence where the 13 victims were discovered, CNN reported.

The school opened March 21, 2011, according to the website, and was categorized as a private school for students in grades one through 12.

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