David Allen Turpin, 57, and Louise Anna Turpin, 49, parented 13 children but raised them in prison like conditions.
The siblings were discovered by authorities after one of the girls, 17, escaped their home and alerted the police of the conditions they were living in.
Upon entering the home, officers found the kids very malnourished and begging for food and water.
Via the Daily Mail: Police said the victims were so emaciated they were shocked to discover that while all looked like children, they actually ranged from two to 29 years of age. Seven of them are over the age of 18 and six of them are children.
The Riverside County Sheriff’s Office said it was not known how long some of them were chained, padlocked and shackled before they were discovered.
The victims were only freed after their sister – who was so small officers initially believed she was only 10 – broke out of the home, grabbed a cell phone and called 911.
The parents were arrested and charged with torture and child endangerment; held on $9 million bail.
It has now been revealed that their parents filed for bankruptcy back in 2011 and were up to $500,000 in debt, despite David Turpin earning $140,000 a year as an engineer for a top defense contractor.
The siblings were immediately taken to hospital after they were saved from the ‘foul-smelling’ room on Sunday morning.
‘The victims appeared to be malnourished and very dirty. Perris Station Detectives were dispatched to the residence for further investigation,’ police said.
‘Child Protective Services (CPS) and Adult Protective Services (APS) arrived to assist in the investigation. The victims were provided with food and beverages after they claimed to be starving.’
The Turpins were between $100,000 and $500,000 in debt when they filed for bankruptcy in August 2011, the New York Times reported.
At the time of the filing, David Turpin was earning a $140,000 salary at defense firm Northrop Grumman where he had been working for eight months. His wife was listed as a stay-at-home mom.
According to the family’s financial records the expenses went over his pay by $1,000 a month; and had previously worked for Lockheed Martin, quitting in 2010.
‘They spoke about them highly,’ the family’s bankruptcy lawyer, Ivan Trahan, said about the couple’s children. ‘We remember them as very nice couple. This is shocking.’
Reportedly the Turpins moved to California from Texas in 2010, living in Murrieta first before buying their current home in Perris on August 2014 for $351,000. It is a four-bedroom home.
Their house in Perris is also the address of Sandcastle Day School – a private school registered in 2014-15 so David Turpin could home-school six of his children. In the 2016-17 school year, it had an enrollment of six students – one each in the fifth, sixth, eighth, ninth, 10th and 12th grades.
David Turpin’s parents, James and Betty Turpin, told ABC News they were ‘surprised and shocked’ at the allegations.
The couple, who live in West Virginia, said they had not visited the family for four or five years but had spoken to them on the phone, although not with their grandchildren.