Kids chained in Calif. house of horrors; parents arrested

In this grab taken from video provided by KABC-TV, the exterior of the home where police arrested a couple accused of holding their 13 children captive, in Perris, east of Los Angeles. Authorities say an emaciated teenager led deputies to a California home where her 12 brothers and sisters were locked up in filthy conditions, with some of them malnourished and chained to beds. Perris, California, Jan. 16, 2018 | Photo by KABC-TV via AP, St. George News

PERRIS, Calif. (AP) — A 17-year-old girl called police after escaping from her family’s home where she and her 12 brothers and sisters were locked up in filthy conditions, some so malnourished officers at first believed all were children even though seven are adults.

These photos provided by the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department show Louise Anna Turpin, left, and David Allen Turpin. Authorities say an emaciated teenager led deputies to a Perris, Calif., home where her 12 brothers and sisters were locked up in filthy conditions, with some of them malnourished and chained to beds. Riverside County sheriff’s deputies arrested the parents David Allen Turpin and Louise Anna Turpin on Sunday. The parents could face charges including torture and child endangerment. Riverside COunty,
California, January 14, 2018 | Photo courtesy of Riverside County Sheriff’s Department via AP, St. George News

The girl, who was so small officers initially believed she was only 10, called 911 and was met by police who interviewed her and then went to the family home in Perris, about 70 miles southeast of Los Angeles. They found several children shackled to their beds with chains and padlocks in dark, foul-smelling surroundings, according to the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department.

The children, ages 2 to 29, “appeared to be malnourished and very dirty,” according to a press release announcing Sunday’s arrest of the parents. “The victims were provided with food and beverages after they claimed to be starving.”

David Allen Turpin, 57, and Louise Anna Turpin, 49, each were held on $9 million bail and could face charges including torture and child endangerment.

It wasn’t immediately known if they had attorneys.

State Department of Education records show the family home has the same address as Sandcastle Day School, where David Turpin is listed as principal. In the 2016-17 school year it had an enrollment of six with one student in each of the fifth, sixth, eighth, ninth, 10th and 12th grades.

Neighbors said they were stunned by the arrests. Andrew Santillan, who lives around the corner, heard about the case from a friend.

“I had no idea this was going on,” he told the Press-Enterprise of Riverside. “I didn’t know there were kids in the house.”

Other neighbors described the family as intensely private.

A few years ago, Robert Perkins said he and his mother saw a few family members constructing a Nativity scene in the Turpins’ front yard. Perkins said he complimented them on it.

“They didn’t say a word,” he said.

The Turpins filed for bankruptcy in 2011, stating in court documents they owed between $100,000 and $500,000, The New York Times reported. At that time, Turpin worked as an engineer at Northrop Grumman and earned $140,000 annually and his wife was a homemaker, records showed.

Their bankruptcy lawyer, Ivan Trahan, told the Times he never met the children but the couple “spoke about them highly.”

“We remember them as a very nice couple,” Trahan said, adding that Louise Turpin told him the family loved Disneyland and visited often.


Email: [email protected]

Twitter: @STGnews

Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Free News Delivery by Email

Would you like to have the day's news stories delivered right to your inbox every evening? Enter your email below to start!


  • Caveat_Emptor January 16, 2018 at 9:24 am

    The neighbors have to be asking themselves how they could have missed this situation. Not sure about the licensing process for the home/day school……..probably a desk review of paperwork without a site visit.
    Sad situation for those kids, who may never recover from the mental trauma they suffered.

  • comments January 16, 2018 at 10:48 am

    I bet these were extreme christian religious loonies.

    People tend to not pay much attention to things outside their own little lives. Our culture is mainly to mind our own business. That Jacee Dugard girl basically camped in a field that was adjacent to many houses’ backyards for 18 years and no one thought anything of it or thought to question it. Even if people do notice crazy things most are too apathetic to do anything about it. Evil is able to thrive when people ignore it…..

  • jaybird January 16, 2018 at 8:27 pm

    Lock them up. Throw awzy tge keys.

  • PlanetU January 16, 2018 at 8:44 pm

    Loony. Nauseating videos of “parents” repeating their marriage vows in front of “Elvis” TWICE , a new white dress for her each time, nice house, several cars in the driveway. Was the state of CA paying “dutch boy” to be principal of “his school?” I fear there is more to this story. A special place in hell for mom & dad of the year!

  • utahdiablo January 17, 2018 at 10:01 am

    The POS guy looks like Captain Kangaroo…they filed Banruptcy in 2011, so where the hell did they come up with the $$$ for the cars, Disney trips, house, whatever….Welfare of course, they bilked the system and screwed the Taxpayer….just like the FLDS

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.