Girl reports abusive parents, says sisters are 'chained up'

2018-06-21 06:24
(iStock)

(iStock)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

A 17-year-old girl who had just escaped her home of horrors called police dispatchers and revealed in a high-pitched voice the abuse that had gone on for years.

"My two little sisters right now are chained up," she said in a recording played Wednesday during a hearing to determine if her mother and father stand trial for a raft of abuse charges.

"They will wake up at night and they will start crying and they wanted me to call somebody," she said of her siblings. "I wanted to call y'all so y'all can help my sisters."

The girl's mother, Louise Turpin, dabbed her eyes with a tissue as the 911 call was played in Riverside County Superior Court.

David and Louise Turpin have pleaded not guilty to torture, child abuse and other charges. They are being held on $12m bail each.

The 911 call in January was the start of a new day for their 13 children, some of whom didn't even understand the role of police officers when they showed up at the house in response to the call.

Officers freed two children who were shackled to beds and arrested the parents in a case that drew worldwide attention to severe neglect at the Perris, California, home that looked neatly kept from the outside.

Inside, police discovered something completely different.

The house reeked of human waste, and the evidence of starvation was obvious, with the oldest of 13 siblings weighing just 37kg. The children were locked up as punishment, denied food and toys and allowed to do little except write in journals, prosecutors said.

Children were isolated from each other and locked in different rooms in small groups. They did not have access to televisions or radios but expressed themselves in the hundreds of journals that investigators seized from the home where they were schooled.

After they were freed, the children, who ranged in age from 2 to 29, were immediately hospitalised and eventually released.

Their current whereabouts are unknown. A spokesperson for the county's social services department declined to discuss the case.

Jack Osborn, an attorney appointed to represent the seven adult children, said earlier this year they were "doing well." They have participated in music therapy programmes, made crafts and world-famous cellist Yo-Yo Ma held a special concert for them. They communicated with their younger siblings over Skype.

"They're happy, they are wanting to move forward, they do not want to dwell on the past," he told the Riverside Press-Enterprise newspaper in February. "They want their identity to be now and going forward the things they hope to do, the dreams they have. They do not want people to think of them only as a possible victim, but as young adults setting off on their lives."

Osborn did not respond to an email from The Associated Press this week.

Prosecutors planned to have sheriff's deputies testify at Wednesday's hearing, but none of the children was expected to take the stand.

David Turpin's attorney, David Macher, said he was "looking forward to the hearing," but declined to comment further. Louise Turpin's lawyer did not immediately respond to request for comment.

KEEP UPDATED on the latest news by subscribing to our FREE newsletter.

- FOLLOW News24 on Twitter

Read more on:    us  |  child abuse
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24

 
/News
Traffic Alerts
Traffic

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Jobs in Western Cape region

Cluster Financial Manager

Cape Town
Network Finance
R950 000.00 - R1 000 000.00 Per Year

Reporting Accountant

Cape Town
Network Finance Professional / Prudential
R310 000.00 - R360 000.00 Per Year

IT Manager (contract)

Cape Town CBD
Communicate Cape Town IT
R330 000.00 - R458 000.00 Per Year

Property [change area]

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.