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California community rallies behind 13 victims in 'house of horrors' case

California community rallies behind 13 victims in 'house of horrors' case

Police found three children shackled with chains and padlocks in their filthy, foul-smelling home after receiving an emergency assistance call from a 17-year-old girl who had managed to escape.

The "event" is one that has reportedly spanned not only years of these children's lives but two states.

David and Louise Turpin have both appeared in court, accused of holding their 13 children in shackles at their California home.

The Turpin children, ages 2-29, are now hospitalized with severe malnourishment and cognitive issues.

District attorney Mike Hestrin said the eldest daughter is 29 and weighs only 37 kilograms while a 12-year-old is the weight of an average seven-year-old.

Meanwhile, there have been claims that David Turpin "kidnapped" his wife when she was a 16-year-old Year 10 student.

And cops fear the couple could have had more children who died and were secretly buried on the grounds of the property, the website reports. The victims range in age from 2 to 29.

The Turpins each face charges including 12 counts of torture and 12 counts of false imprisonment, seven counts of abuse of a dependent adult and six counts of child abuse. All the children's names begin with the letter J, according to court documents that didn't provide their full names. However, the couple pleaded not guilty on all counts and a judge set bail at $12 million for each defendant. James Turpin said that he knew nothing about the case beyond what he had seen in the media. "Our clients are presumed to be innocent, and that is a very important presumption".

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James Turpin of Princeton, West Virginia, told The Associated Press he's going to talk to his son's children to "find out the real story" as soon as he can get a call through to them. Louise Turpin identified herself as a housewife in a 2011 bankruptcy filing.

United Kingdom newspaper, The Independent, reported that it had contacted the Sheriff's Department in Riverside County and the police department in the City of Perris, California, to verify the report, but neither responded to paper's requests for comment.

Lambert went on to say that the House of Horror couple 'dreamt' of becoming famous one day which had led them moving to Perris, in California from Rio Vista, Texas, 2010 in order to be closer to Hollywood so they could potentially make it happen.

"The parents would apparently buy food for themselves and not allow the children to eat it", he said. When not restrained, the children were locked in different rooms and fed little on a schedule. Their punishments included frequent beatings and strangulation, the district attorney said. Jessica Borelli, a clinical psychologist and professor at the University of California, Irvine, said despite what they went through, they may struggle to be away from their parents.

Therapists who have worked with children who went through similar ordeals agree that the teenager had to overcome mental hurdles as well as physical ones like being chained to a bed. Human waste in the house indicated the children were prevented from using the toilet.

Social workers had never visited either, said Susan von Zabern, director of the county Department of Public Social Services. When the girl who escaped was asked if any pills were in the home, she did not understand what medication was. "They were "sweetie" this and "sweetie" that to each other".

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.

"We're trying to pull together to show we stand behind the children", she said. He recalled seeing the Turpin children doing yard work in the evenings but it didn't seem unusual in light of the blazing midday heat.


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