A couple was arrested in their California home for holding their 13 children captive in filthy conditions, some shackled to beds with chains and padlocks, officials said Monday.
The victims ranged in age from 2 to 29, the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department said in a statement.
A 17-year-old girl managed to escape from the residence in Perris, California, on Sunday and called 911 from a cell phone she found in the house, police said.
The girl claimed her 12 brothers and sisters were being held captive inside the home by her parents, some of them bound with chains and padlocks, the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department said.
The 17-year-old “appeared to be only 10 years old and slightly emaciated,” the Riverside Sheriff’s Department said.
Sheriff’s deputies responded to the home and found the 12 other victims, who “appeared malnourished and very dirty,” authorities said. All of them looked like children, police said, and officers were surprised to learn that seven of them were adults. Several were shackled to their beds “in dark and foul-smelling surroundings,” the Sheriff’s Department said.
David Allen Turpin, 57, and Louise Anna Turpin, 49, were charged on Sunday with torture and child endangerment, the Sheriff’s Department said. The couple was taken to the Robert Presley Detention Center in Riverside.
Bail was set at $9 million for each, the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department said.
It was not immediately clear if the suspects had an attorney or whether they had entered a plea.
The six children — including the 17-year-old who escaped — are being treated at Riverside University Health System Medical Center in Moreno Valley. The seven adults are being treated at Corona Regional Medical Center in Corona, authorities said.