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Children Hospitalized, Parents Jailed on Torture Charges

20 January, 2018, 05:18 | Author: Priscilla Morrison
  • Turpin dogs. Pic City of Perris

David Turpin, 56, and Louise Turpin, 49, were charged with multiple counts of torture, child abuse, dependent adult abuse and false imprisonment.

After years of alleged abuse, one teenage girl escaped Sunday and called 911.

Mike Clifford, a former neighbor of the family when they lived in Murrieta, would come home from work around midnight and see the children marching from room to room upstairs. "Sometimes in this business, we're faced with looking at human depravity - and that's what we're looking at here". Of their 13 children seized from the home, six are minors. From member station KVCR, Benjamin Purper reports.

Neighbor Kimberly Milligan said one of those rare encounters occurred in 2015 and especially stood out. "I didn't get that in depth with them but I knew they were a fun family". "They immediately shut down".

That means they were deprived of vitamins and minerals essential to their development, Dr. Roshini Raj, an associate professor of medicine at New York University, told HLN.

Hestrin said that, except for the 2-year-old, all the children showed symptoms of severe malnourishment, including mental impairment.

While the children's ordeal began when the family was living in the Fort Worth region of Texas, it "intensified over time and worsened" when the family moved to California.

The California district attorney painted a stunning picture of physical and emotional abuse Thursday.

Hestrin said the courageous teen plotted her escape for two years, and that a sibling fled with her but was frightened and returned to the home.

Prosecutors said the abuse may have gone on for years. "They are friendly, they're active, they were well-fed, leash trained".

The Turpin siblings, seven adults and six children, likely need years of therapy, psychological experts said, adding that if possible it would be best to keep them together.

Louise and David Turpin appear in court for her arraignment in Riverside
Image David and Louise Turpin deny the charges against them

Since arresting David and Louise Turpin earlier this week, authorities said they have learned the children were confined to the house, chained to furniture, starved and often deprived the use of a toilet.

"If it had been like two years ago that she cut us off, then we might think, wow, something's not right". Some of them were shackled to their beds with chains and padlocks "in dark and foul-smelling surroundings", authorities said.

On Sunday, three children had been shackled to beds, though the parents freed two of them - ages 11 and 14 - when officers knocked on the door, Hestrin said.

But inside it was a stinking mess, the conditions "horrific", Riverside County Sheriff's Capt. Greg Fellows said Tuesday. A 29-year-old woman weighs 82 pounds, and a 12-year-old weighs as much as an average 7-year-old, a prosecutor said.

'They had a huge garbage dumpster at their house and we heard a baby kitten crying. "The 2-year-old. was getting enough to eat". "One of the things that happens with really prolonged abuse like this is the instincts about self-protection and the desire to protect oneself are totally disrupted - but she has it". David Turpin is additionally charged with committing a lewd act on one of the female children by force.

The parents were jailed on $12 million bail each after pleading not guilty Thursday at their first court appearance.

Breggin says Turpin took over the lives of his wife and children "in an extreme fashion beyond anything I've ever seen", adding, "He kept them in complete isolation, he starved them".

"Our clients are presumed to be innocent", said attorney David Macher.

Typically, when children are separated from their parents, the courts and child protection agencies may seek to reunify the family, said Amy Heilman, director of foster care and adoption at the Children's Bureau, a Los Angeles-based social services nonprofit. "However, there are times where the court may not want to make that ruling until it's further on in the criminal case".

"We can assume that there could be depression and nightmares", Ochberg said.


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