Police say this California couple held their 13 children captive and shackled them to beds with chains — see inside the family’s horrifying life

David Allen Turpin and Louise Ann Turpin were arrested on charges of torture and child endangerment.

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David Allen Turpin and Louise Ann Turpin were arrested on charges of torture and child endangerment.
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Reuters

  • Police in California arrested David and Louise Turpin after their 17-year-old daughter called 911.
  • The couple’s 13 children were being held captive in their home, police said.
  • Some of the children were malnourished and bound to their beds by chains.

Police on Sunday arrested a couple at their home in Perris, California, after their 17-year-old daughter escaped and called 911, informing authorities that she and her 12 siblings were being held captive by their parents, according to an incident report released by the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department.

Police said they found some of the children extremely malnourished and shackled to their beds by chains and padlocks. The 17-year-old reportedly escaped through a window and used a cellphone taken from inside the house to call police. She was so emaciated that she looked as if she was 10 years old, police said.

The parents, David and Louise Turpin, were “unable to immediately provide a logical reason why their children were restrained in that manner,” police added.

This story is developing, but here’s what we know so far:


The victims were being held captive in the family home, which is in Perris, California, about 70 miles east of Los Angeles.

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Google Maps

The ages of the 13 victims range from 2 to 29. Seven of them are adults.

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The Turpin family home in Perris, California.
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Mike Blake/Reuters

Some of the adults were so emaciated that police say they were shocked to learn how old they were.

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Riverside County Sheriff’s Department Captain Greg Fellows and Medical Director of Child Abuse and Neglect at Riverside University Health System Doctor Sophia Grant attends a news conference on January 16, 2018.
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Mike Blake/Reuters

Authorities interviewed all of the victims and transported them to local hospitals for medical treatment.

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Mike Blake/Reuters

The parents, David Allen Turpin and his wife, Louise, were arrested on charges of torture and child endangerment. Their bail was set at $9 million each.

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David Allen Turpin and Louise Ann Turpin after their arrest on January 15, 2018.
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Reuters

“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,” Captain Greg Fellows of the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department said Tuesday.

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Riverside County Sheriff’s Department Captain Greg Fellows on January 16, 2018.
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Mike Blake/Reuters

Media coverage of this quiet neighborhood has been unusual for many of its residents.

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Mike Blake/Reuters

Stunned neighbors, many of whom denied knowing much about the family, lined the sidewalks to watch investigators scour the home.

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Sandy Huffaker/Getty

After the news broke, a local resident became suspicious that the Turpins had abducted his cousin, Elizabeth Salgado, who has been missing for two years.

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Rudemberth Salgado has been looking for his cousin, Elizabeth Salgado, who was last seen in Provo, Utah.
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Alex Gallardo

Another neighbor told The Washington Post about a bizarre encounter with the Turpin children. In 2015, Kimberly Milligan complimented the children as they set up a nativity scene in front of their house around Christmas. They “did not say a word,” Milligan said. “They were like children whose only defense was to be invisible.”

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A decoration in the window of the Turpins’ home.
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Mike Blake/Reuters

Source: The Washington Post


That same year, the couple renewed their wedding vows at the Elvis Chapel in Las Vegas.

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The Daily Mail

They brought all their children to sing and dance along with the Elvis impersonator. It appears that the couple had renewed their vows there several times.

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Daily Mail

David Turpin ran a day school out of his home, according to KABC, a Los Angeles news station.

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Mike Blake/Reuters

Source: KABC News


He has also worked as an engineer for Northrop Grumman, but in 2011, the family filed for bankruptcy, KABC reported.

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Reuters

A lawyer who represented David and Louise at their bankruptcy hearing told CNN that “there was nothing out of ordinary” about the couple. He added that they didn’t seem upset about their bankruptcy.

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Neighbors react to the news.
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Sandy Huffaker/Getty

Source: CNN


In an interview with CNN, David’s mother, Betty, said the family would often go on vacations and the kids would wear matching shirts so no one would get lost. “This is a highly respectable family,” she said.

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Today Show

Source: CNN


Louise’s sister spoke out to NBC News in an emotional interview. “We are as hurt and shocked and angry and disappointed as everybody else,” Teresa Robinette said.

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NBC News

Source: NBC News


Law enforcement has encouraged anyone with additional information about the family to contact Tom Salisbury, an investigator on the case, by calling 951-210-1000.

Source: Perris Police