Officials: 13 siblings ages 2 to 29 'held captive' by parents, some shackled

Authorities say an emaciated child 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.

Posted: Jan. 15, 2018 4:21 PM
Updated: Jan. 15, 2018 4:21 PM

RIVERSIDE, Calif. -- An investigation is underway in California after 13 siblings ages 2 to 29 were allegedly held captive in a home, some "shackled to their beds with chains and padlocks," the Riverside County Sheriff's Department said in a press release.

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Two parents, 57-year-old David Allen Turpin and 49-year-old Louise Anna Turpin, were arrested in the torture and child engagement case in Perris, about 27 miles south of San Bernardino.

The investigation began early Sunday morning when a 17-year-old girl allegedly escaped from the home and called 911, claiming that her 12 brothers and sisters were being held captive there, the sheriff's office said.

Responding officers said the teen "appeared to be only 10 years old and slightly emaciated."

Inside the home was a shocking scene.

Several children were "shackled to their beds with chains and padlocks in dark and foul-smelling surroundings," the sheriff's office said. "The victims appeared to be malnourished and very dirty."

Seven of the victims were adults, ranging in age from 18 to 29, the sheriff's office said. The others were children as young as 2. The victims -- who authorities say claimed to be starving -- were given food and drinks and interviewed, the sheriff's office said. They were then hospitalized for treatment, the authorities said.

The parents were interviewed and later booked on charges of torture and child endangerment, the sheriff's office said. Bail was set at $9 million each.

The sheriff's office said it's believed that all of the victims were their biological children.

It's unclear how long the victims were held inside the home, the authorities said.

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