A CHRISTIAN couple has been arrested in California on suspicion of torture and child endangerment after their 13 children were found malnourished in “horrific” conditions in their home.
David Allen and Louise Anna Turpin, who live in the city of Perris, were arrested on Monday after their 17-year old daughter escaped the house and called the police, who discovered 12 siblings aged between two and 29, some chained to furniture.
Captain Greg Fellows, chief of police for Perris, said that the scenes that his officers found on entering the property were “horrific”, but Mrs Perrin seemed “perplexed” that the police had been called.
Captain Fellows said: “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.”
Mr Turpin’s parents defended their son. His mother, Betty Turpin, said that she was “surprised and shocked” by the allegations. Her son and daughter-in-law were “a good Christian family”, she said.
She said that “God called on” the couple to have 13 children, who were given a “very strict home-schooling” which included memorising long passages from the Bible.
A private school, Sandcastle Day School, was registered at the Turpins’ home address with the California Department of Education. Mr Turpin was listed as the principle and six students were enrolled in different school grades.
A neighbour told CNN that the children “were very, very pale-skinned, almost like they’ve never seen the sun”.
PAThe house in Perris, California, where 13 siblings were found in “horrific” conditions last weekend