Elizabeth Flores, Louise Turpin's Sister

David Louise Turpin_FT_Worth_TX_Home_3_CBS11

David was also charged with a lewd act against a child under 14, reported the New York Post.

The severely malnourished and abused children of David Allen Turpin and his wife, Louise, who were rescued Sunday from their home by police in Perris, California, after their 17-year-old sibling escaped and alerted authorities, spent two years plotting their freedom from the house of horror. The teen who managed to get out did so with her younger sister, who panicked and went back to the house.

David and Louise Turpin are accused of starving and shackling their 13 adult and juvenile children to their beds, sometimes for months. Several children even had cognitive and nerve damage from the abuse, he said.

The oldest, a 29-year-old woman, weighed only 82lb according to Riverside County District Attorney Mike Hestrin.

A joint Facebook page that appeared to have been created by the parents showed the couple at the same chapel dressed in wedding clothes, surrounded by the 13 children. The victims range in age from 2 to 29. Other charges included seven counts of abuse of a dependent adult, six counts of child abuse or neglect and 12 counts of false imprisonment. All the children's names begin with the letter J, according to court documents that didn't provide their full names.

David and Louise Turpin were each ordered held on $12 million bail after entering their pleas Thursday and were scheduled to return to court on February 23. If convicted, they could be sentenced to life in prison.

"It's a very serious case", he said.

A lawyer for David Turpin told ABC News, "What we would like the public to know is that our clients are presumed to be innocent and that's a very important presumption". "I'm going to talk with the children, find out the real story on this as soon as I can get a call through to them", James Turpin told The Associated Press.




In 2010, David Turpin left his job at Lockheed Martin, a company spokeswoman said, and he also worked as an engineer at Northrop Grumman, the aeronautics and defence company. Louise Turpin identified herself as a housewife in a 2011 bankruptcy filing.

The abuse began in in Fort Worth, Texas, where they lived for 17 years before moving to California, and intensified over time.

Until then, the Turpin parents had essentially forbid family members ever visiting their Murrieta home, even speaking to the children on the home, with the Turpin's even once refusing to give out their physical address when a family relative called to say they had just landed at nearby Los Angeles airport and wanted to "surprise" visit the Turpin's. "They would bring home apple pies and leave them on the kitchen cabinet for the children to see but not have". When not restrained, the children were locked in different rooms and fed little on a schedule.

"Don't forget, they were all raised to listen to their parents", she said.

Police found that some of the children had been shackled to their beds and were being held in "a foul-smelling room". Human waste in the house indicated the children were prevented from using the toilet.

James Turpin said that he and his wife, who are both in their 80s, had not been to California in six years, but that the children appeared during that visit to be fine. When the girl who escaped was asked if any pills were in the home, she did not understand what medication was. In addition to raising them largely in isolation, the parents may have been able to hide the abuse by functioning while other families slept.

At the Turpin's home, a memorial of stuffed toys and balloons placed there by neighbors heartbroken by the nightmare said to have unfolded inside.

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