California couple accused of starving, torturing 13 siblings had "healthy" dogs


Louise and David Turpin were arrested in the torture and child endangerment case in Perris, Calif.

The motives behind David and Louise Turpin's decision to lock their children up and starve them remain unclear to authorities.

They were forced to sleep during the day and would stay up at night.

The dogs were seized by authorities who raided the home after a 17-year-old girl escaped and alerted police to the situation inside. Several children even had cognitive and nerve damage from the abuse, he said.

BENJAMIN PURPER, BYLINE: Riverside County District Attorney Mike Hestrin held a press conference where he detailed the condition that the siblings had been living in for years. "Sometimes in this business we are faced with human depravity".

And her daughter, Darwin, 13, insisted that she loves being home-schooled.

Flores tearfully said Wednesday that she and Turpin didn't have a relationship for decades beyond the odd phone call.

In her interview with Good Morning America, Flores said, "If I went to get in the shower, [David] would come in there while I was in there and watch me..." "They immediately shut down".

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The children were thin and appeared malnourished, Milligan said. Former neighbors say they knew something was unusual about them.

They were allegedly punished when they washed their hands above their wrists, and beaten regularly, according to the prosecutor. The books are expected to be powerful evidence against their parents. A friend of the couple said that hours before capture by the authorities, the two said goodbye as they were leaving town. She and another sibling broke free by climbing out of a window. The sheriff could not imagine his eyes when he first saw the 17-year-old girl.

The parents of the children who were allegedly tortured and found shackled to their beds are said to have hidden their crimes behind the veil of homeschooling. The victims range in age from 2 to 29.

Six of the 13 children, who are aged 2 to 29-years-old, were enrolled in the home's "Sandcastle Day School".

DA Hestrin said the abuse began in 2010 and worsened over the years. A handful of readers have mentioned notable tragedies in the past - including that of 8-year-old Gabriel Fernandez, who died in 2013 - but instead of targeting systemic lapses, they cite a collective failure on the part of neighbors and everyday passersby to take action.

David Turpin was also charged with performing a lewd act on a child under age 14.

David and Louise Turpin were each ordered held on $12 million bail after entering their pleas Thursday and were scheduled to return to court on February 23.

Their next court appearance is scheduled for Feb 23. They stand to receive up to 94 years to life in prison if convicted.

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David Turpin's attorney, David Macher, said outside the courtroom that "our clients are presumed to be innocent - and that's a very important presumption", adding that the case will be tried in court, not in the media.

It's also possible, Perry told the AP, that the Turpins got the older children to help them police the younger ones and make them complicit in the process.

Asked if she ever breaks down after leaving her patients, Kamalpour said, "Absolutely". She tells ABC, however, that she thinks the Turpins were "really strict" with their children. Foster care parents could end up being the adoptive parents.

After their rescue, all of the children were been admitted to hospitals and are now receiving treatment for severe malnutrition. The victims could suffer from complex post-traumatic stress disorder, which results from trauma that took place over a long period of time or in captivity, said Dr.

"We can assume that there could be depression and nightmares", Ochberg said.

Ochberg was optimistic about the possibility of recovery down the road.

"While there can be a number of complicated and interrelated medical, social and psychological disorders, there have been wonderful and heartwarming examples of people who are survivors", Ochberg said.

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The indictment dealt with abuse that began after the parents moved to Riverside County in the USA state of California in 2010. The abuse started while the family lived in Texas and intensified after it moved to California in 2010, said Hestrin.