Horrific Abuse of 13 California Siblings Began in Fort Worth Area, Authorities Say

Two California parents accused of keeping their 13 children captive -- some of them chained to furniture -- began abusing their kids in the Fort Worth area, a law enforcement official said Thursday.David Allen Turpin, 57, and Louise Anna Turpin, 49, have been charged with torture and abuse in Riverside County in a case that has made national headlines. The Turpins were arrested this week after their malnourished 17-year-old daughter escaped their home near Los Angeles and alerted police.The alleged abuse and neglect began when the family lived in the Fort Worth area, "with the parents at one point living apart from most of the children and dropping off food from time to time," said Michael Hestrin, district attorney for Riverside County."We're asking for the public's help -- not only here in California, but in Texas," Hestrin said at a news conference. "Someone must have seen something. Someone must have noticed something."Of the group of 13 found in the home, the youngest child was 2 and the oldest person was 29.Records show that the Turpins lived or owned property in Johnson County as recently as 2010. Before that, the Turpins are listed as having lived or owned property in Tarrant County.The family lived in Texas for 17 years and moved to the California city of Murrieta in 2010, Hestrin said. They settled in their current address in Perris in 2014.A spokeswoman for Texas' Child Protective Services said the agency has no record of investigations involving the Turpins. Neither parent appears to have a history of criminal convictions in this state.David and Louise Turpin allegedly began to punish their children many years ago by tying them up. When one of their children was able to escape the ropes after being hogtied, the couple resorted to chains and padlocks, Hestrin said.The prosecutor described the horrific allegations: There were beatings and even strangulation. The siblings were fed very little and on a schedule. They weren't allowed to shower more than once a year and hadn't seen a doctor or a dentist for a long time.A 12-year-old has the average weight of a 7-year-old, and the oldest sibling -- the 29-year-old woman -- weighs 82 pounds, Hestrin said.Several of the siblings have cognitive impairments and nerve damage, he added."Children lack a basic knowledge of life," Hestrin said. "Many fo the children didn't know what a police officer was."Prosecutors filed 12 counts of torture, seven counts of dependent adult abuse, six counts of child abuse and 12 counts of false imprisonment against the couple. David Turpin was also charged with one count of a lewd act on a child.The charges cover a period of time that began in 2010, when the family moved to California.  Continue reading...

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