Siblings allegedly starved, shackled and taunted with food

David Allen Turpin accused of holding 13 children captive appears in court. Source Getty

When police arrived at the victim's family home, they were greeted by extreme filth, a foul stench, and the sight of three children in chains.

David and Louise Turpin have been accused neglecting and torturing their 13 children.

Supposedly, they kept the children chained to furniture, beat them up regularly and starved them. For NPR News, I'm Benjamin Purper in Riverside, Calif. David Turpin had worked as an engineer for both Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman. These barriers could include a blizzard of paperwork or onerous requirements about fire safety and other measures created to "protect" children in their own home. They also would make pumpkin pies and not let the hungry children eat them, the prosecutor said.

Additionally, David Turpin has pleaded not guilty to sexually abusing a child.

"My estimate is they could spend the rest of their lives in prison, so that's a very serious business".

They will be back in court on February 23.

"I will tell you as a prosecutor, there are cases that stick with you, they haunt you", Hestrin said. "One of our nurses, she says, 'I'm 24 years old.' And so these adults are right in her age group". Investigators were combing through hundreds of journals found in the home, Hestrin said.

Reporters allowed to enter the Texas home that was abandoned by the family in 2010 discovered soiled carpets and scratch marks on doors where it looked like children may have tried to escape. "I reply - have you met my kids?" "That is what we are looking at here". "And frankly, they may be enough to persuade a defendant that they don't want to go through a long trial here".

Ricky and Shelli Vinyard live across the gravel road. They lived in a remote town 50 miles south of Fort Worth. Brenda Taylor, Louise Turpin's aunt alluded to the façade held up by the couple on social media, where the two posted pictures of the family with their children all apparently clean and happy.

James Turpin said that he and his wife, who are both in their 80s, had not been to California in six years, but that the children appeared during that visit to be fine.

According to the Collegiate Times, David Turpin, 56, is a Virginia Tech graduate.

"I had no idea this was going on", he said as he stood in a nearby driveway and watched the scene.

Neighbours have told how they would rarely see the children - with one claiming to have been unaware there were any living at the house.

David and Louise Turpin now face charges of torture, child abuse, false imprisonment, and abuse of a dependent adult.

"I think I was around 9 years old when a family member that I loved so much and I was supposed to be able to trust molested me", she wrote, adding that the abuse continued throughout her childhood and teenage years.

Disturbing details have been slowly emerging over this past week about the Turpins, and this is what we know so far about the "California torture house" parents. "It was waist-deep in filth".

According to a statement from the City of Perris, two Maltese-mix dogs found at the home of David and Louise Turpin appear "healthy" and are available for adoption.

In the meantime, the journals will also have tremendous value for the criminal investigation, even though they may not be admissable as evidence in a courtroom, said Laurie Levenson, a criminal law expert at Loyola Law School in Los Angeles.

"It's like if I'm pulled over in my auto for no reason", she said.

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