New details about the horrifying story of two Riverside County, California parents imprisoning their 13 children inside a Perris, California home have been released at a news conference by Riverside County Sheriff's deputies.
Authorities say they're focusing on the health and welfare of the 13 siblings who were found held captive by their parents in what officials called 'deplorable' conditions.
"We're working with child protective services, adult protective services and medical professionals to ensure that the victims get the help that they need," Riverside County Sheriff's captain Greg Fellows said at the presser Wednesday morning.
The six children and seven adults were found to be malnourished and had been mentally and physically abused for years. All thirteen are being checked out by doctors and being slowly reintroduced to food.
Officials did not provide a reason why the children were chained to their beds, and did not call the family a cult, but said the investigation is on-going.
David Allen Turpin, 56, and his wife, 49-year-old Louise Ann Turpin were arrested on Sunday on suspicion of multiple acts of torture and child abuse. Each suspect is being held in lieu of $9 million bail at the Robert Presley Detention Center in Riverside.
Authorities were alerted to the house of horrors in Perris, California after one of the children, a 17-year-old girl, managed to flee the house and contact authorities using a phone she had taken from the residence.
The victim told sheriff's deputies that her brothers and sisters were being imprisoned inside the home and needed help. Deputies say they were shocked to learn of the victim's age, saying they first believed the malnourished teen to be only ten-years-old.
"Further investigation revealed several children shackled to their beds with chains and padlocks in dark and foul-smelling surroundings, but the parents were unable to immediately provide a logical reason why their children were restrained in that manner,'' according to a statement released by the department on Monday.
"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 victims appeared to be malnourished and very dirty.''
Sheriff's deputies say the parents, David and Louise, were "unable to immediately provide a logical reason why their children were restrained in that manner." The thirteen individuals were removed from the home and placed into protective custody under the care of the county Child Protective Services and Adult Protective Services.
State records show the couple that owned the tract house in Perris was listed as the location for "Sandcastle Day School" a private K-12 campus in which David Turpin was listed as the principal. Six students were listed as attending the non-religious, co-ed institution, one student in the fifth, sixth, eighth, ninth, 10th and 12th grades.
A public Facebook profile offered a brief insight into the children and couple's lives. Turpin, who worked as an engineer at Northrop Grumman, an aeronautics and defense technology company in San Diego, made around 11,000 per month according to bankruptcy documents filed by the couple in 2011. Louise Turpin, who was also listed on the tax documents, was listed as a homemaker and had no income.
Anyone with any information about this case is being urged to contact the Perris station at (951) 210-1000.