Six of the couple’s children are minors, while the other seven are over 18.
The siblings, ranging in ages from two years old to 29, were found by police in their Californian home on January 14. The West Virginia-based grandparents said that the children were given “very strict homeschooling” and that they would memorize long Bible passages. The alleged abuse was discovered when a 17-year-old girl jumped out a window and called 911 Sunday.
Responding officers initially believed the “slightly emaciated” girl was only 10 years old until she provided her age.
The California Department of Education said in a statement, “We are sickened by this tragedy and relieved the children are now safe and authorities are investigating”. All 13 people were admitted to nearby hospitals for treatment. Reports said David was permitted to run a private school from their house, listed as Sandcastle Day School.
The family moved to Southern California in 2011 from Rio Vista in Johnson County, near Fort Worth, according to property records.
It’s understood the couple have lived at the address for several years and lived in Texas previously.
But a worker at the office of the Turpins’ bankruptcy lawyer, Nancy Trahan, said they were friendly and “seems like very nice people”. No movement, like if they were told not to speak to anybody.
State records show the children were home schooled.
“All you would really see is that they go out and maybe do a grocery round”. “I wouldn’t have seen it coming”.
Thirteen brothers and sisters aged 2 to 29 were found tied or chained, hungry and dirty in the town of Perris, 100 km east of Los Angeles.
Two years ago, while walking around the neighbourhood admiring Christmas lights and decorations, Ms Milligan said she encountered three of the Turpin children and complimented them on the manger with a baby Jesus set up outside the house.
“It was extremely dirty and as we reported previously numerous children were malnourished”. She frequently wondered why the many children never came outside to play.
Zinzi Ross agreed. “It’s insane, I can’t believe this is going on”, she said.
“We would urge anyone anxious about a child they know to pick up the phone, even if you are not sure, as you could help save that child’s life and get them the help they desperately need”. “You could tell they were terrified”, Milligan said. They said the last time they saw them they appeared thin, but appeared to be a “happy family”.
A friend commented at the time on a photo of one of the events, writing: “I watched your wedding video”.