13 children held captive, some in chains and padlocks, were found by police in the house of a couple in California
The victims’ age ranged from 2 to 29, according to an official statement.
The police was called by a 17-year-old girl who managed to escape with a cell phone that she found in the house. She claimed that her 12 brothers and sisters were being held captive inside the house by her parents, and that some of them were bound with chains and padlocks, the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department said.
The Sheriff’s Department also said that the girl “appeared to be only 10 years old and slightly emaciated.”
Sheriff’s deputies immediately responded and went to the home where they found the 12 other victims, who “appeared malnourished and very dirty,” according to authorities.
Police officers thought that the victims were children, but were surprised to learn that some of them were adults. Several where tied to their beds “in dark and foul-smelling surroundings,” the sheriff’s department said.
The two parents, David Allen Turpin, aged 57, and Louise Anna Turpin, aged 49, were charged on Sunday with torture and child endangerment. The bail was set at $9 million for each and it was not immediately clear if they had attorneys of if they had entered a plea.
The six children, including the girl who escaped, are being treaed at Riverside University Health System Medical Center in Moreno, while the seven adults are being treated at Corona Regional Medical Center in Corona.