Everything you need to know about the case of David and Louise Turpin — the couple accused of holding their 13 children hostage

A combination photo of David Allen Turpin (L) and Louise Ann Turpin as they appear in booking photos provided by the Riverside County Sheriff's Department in Riverside County, California, U.S., January 15, 2018.   Riverside County Sheriff's Department/Handout via REUTERS
combination photo of David Allen Turpin and Louise Ann Turpin as
they appear in booking photos in Riverside


  • On Sunday, authorities discovered David and Louise
    Turpin’s 13 children being held hostage in extremely disturbing
  • The hostages, ranging in ages from two to 29 years old,
    reportedly were shackled, starved, and living in filthy
  • Here’s what you need to know about David and Louise
    Turpin’s family as the couple sits in jail on a $12 million

The case of

David and Louise

, a California
couple accused of holding their 13 children hostage in their
home, has grown more and more disturbing with each new

The Turpins were


on Sunday after their 17-year-old daughter
escaped from their Perris, California, home and alerted
authorities to the fact that her 12 other siblings were still in
the house, malnourished, unbathed, and shackled to furniture with
padlocks and chains.

As the Turpins remain in jail on

charges of torture, abuse, child abuse, and false
even more information continues to be revealed
about their lives as well as their children’s time in their home.
Here’s what you need to know about the case of the Turpin

Their 17-year-old daughter escaped and managed to call

According to an

incident report

, the
Turpins’ 17-year-old daughter, whose name has not been released,
escaped their home through a window and called 911 with a cell
phone that she’d found inside the house. She alerted the
authorities to the fact that her siblings were still inside the
house and said that her parents, 57-year-old David Allen Turpin
and 49-year-old Louise Anna Turpin, were holding them

Officers who responded to the
call said that the 17-year-old appeared to be only 10 years old
and looked emaciated. Upon entering, they discovered the
conditions were inside the house were incredibly unsafe and unfit
for residency.

Turpin House
A home where the couple
was arrested.

Huffaker/Getty Images

The Turpins’ hostages ranged in age from two years old to

According to the


, “Deputies
located what they believed to be 12 children inside the house,
but were shocked to discover that seven of them were actually
adults, ranging in age from 18 to 29.”

The responders said that the
conditions were “dark” and “foul-smelling” and that the residents
appeared “malnourished and very dirty.” The hostages, who were
being held with chains and padlocks, were given food and
beverages once they told authorities that they were

Both Child Protective Services
and Adult Protective Services assisted officers on the scene.
With their intervention, the seven adults were transported to
Corona Regional Medical Center and the children were taken to
Riverside University Hospital System, where they were all
admitted for treatment.

When questioned, the incident
report said that the Turpins could come up with no “logical
reason why their children were restrained in that manner.”

The Turpins allegedly left their previous home in a state
of disarray.

The Turpin family

lived in Texas before

, where they
moved in 2010 because their home entered foreclosure.

According to the

Daily Mail

, the Turpins lived in Fort Worth, Texas,
from 1992 to 1999 and then moved to Rio Vista, Texas, from 1999
to 2010 before their home was foreclosed.

The owners of the Fort Worth home
said that when they went into their house after the Turpins had
moved, they discovered that it was caked in dirt, scratches, and
filth. At the time, they believed that animals caused the



Riverside County District
Attorney Mike Hestrin.

David McNew/Getty

Their children were reportedly homeschooled and rarely
allowed to leave their previous residence.

A former neighbor in Rio Vista


, “They were hoarders, and they moved
themselves out of the house and moved into a mobile home they had

The person who currently lives in
their former Rio Vista home also told WFAA, “She never allowed
her children to go outside and play. They homeschooled every one
of them and one day they just up and left.”

And the owner said she noticed
some strange changes in the home.

“There are two vents in the
closet, and they are covered up now,” she said, with WFAA saying
that she wonders if the closets are where the children were

According to WFAA, neighbors who
knew the family said “the couple kept to themselves and they
rarely saw the children.” The


also reported that neighbors described the
home as a “religious compound” and that the children were not
“allowed” to tell anyone their names.

California state records

indicate that David Turpin had
registered the Perris residence as a private school, calling it
“Sandcastle Day School.”

A Perris neighbor, Andria Valdez,

The Press-Enterprise

that her family joked that the Turpins were
“really, really pale” like the vampires from the “Twilight”
series, while another neighbor said that they “didn’t know there
were kids in the house.”

There had been no prior reports of abuse and members of
the Louise Turpin’s family were “shocked” by the news.

Authorities had never received
any complaints about the family, according to



Louise Turpin’s sister, Elizabeth
Flores, told “

Morning America

” that
she was “shocked” to find out about the abuse.

Flores had lived with the couple
for several months while they were in Texas and though she said
she’d never seen “any type of abuse” she did say that she’d been
“scared” and uncomfortable around David Turpin, who she said
would watch her while she showered.

“Now that I’m an adult and I look
back I see things that I didn’t see then,” Flores said.

James and Betty Turpin, David
Turpin’s parents, told


that “God called” David and Louise to have so
many children, who they said were raised in the Pentecostal
faith, faced “strict homeschooling,” and would memorize long
Bible verses, some of the children even trying to memorize the
book entirely.

The elder Turpins hadn’t seen
their son, who they said was an engineer, and grandchildren in
“four or five years” but believed they were “happy” and were
“surprised” to hear of the abuse in the home.

Riverside County District Attorney Mike Hestrin
Riverside County District
Attorney Mike Hestrin.

McNew/Getty Images

They shared photos and videos of their family on their
joint Facebook page.

In a stark contrast to the scene
painted by the incident report, the Turpin parents would often
share photos and videos of their family, including the children,
on their shared Facebook profile, according to

The Press-Enterprise


The family went to Disneyland and
Las Vegas together, with the couple renewing their vows in 2011,
2013, and 2015. The video of their

2011 vow

shows them
together at a Las Vegas-style chapel with an Elvis impersonator

In one Facebook photo, one of
their children is even shown wearing a t-shirt that says, “mommy
loves me.”

In reality, law enforcement


that the children were only fed once a day
and showered only twice a year. Their house was reportedly

Their children are reportedly “stable” while their
parents await trial.


According to


, those in charge of the children’s care have
faith in their recovery.

Mark Uffer, the CEO of the Corona
Regional Medical Center, said that the older children in his care
“are actually pretty stable” despite the harrowing experience. He
said that “they are in a very safe environment” and are

“We have tried to recreate a
positive family environment for them so they are with their
siblings, and they appear to be doing well in that environment,”
Uffer said.

David and Louise Turpin are both


with numerous counts of torture and abuse
and are being
held in jail on $12 million
in bail
. They pleaded not guilty Thursday

If you believe that someone you
know is being abused, you can contact your state’s Offices of
Child and Family Services, which offer assistance to children and
adults. In the event of an emergency, please call 911.

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