(PERRIS, Calif.) — New surveillance video shows some of the 13 California siblings who were allegedly held captive and tortured by their mother and father getting into a van after their parents’ arrests.
The action unfolds in the upper left-hand corner of the video, where some of the siblings can be seen piling into the vehicle.
David and Louise Turpin, accused of abusing their children for years, were arrested after the victims were found Jan. 14 at their home in Perris. The Turpins allegedly forced the children to shower only once a year, shackled them and beat them routinely, Riverside County District Attorney Mike Hestrin said. The victims weren’t released from their chains even to go to the bathroom, according to Hestrin. When found, they hadn’t been to a doctor in over four years and had never been to a dentist, he added.
The victims were rescued after one of the children — a 17-year-old girl — escaped through a window and called 911.
The siblings — ages 2 to 29 — have since been hospitalized.
All the victims except for the toddler were severely malnourished, Hestrin said, adding that the eldest victim — a 29-year-old woman — weighed only 82 pounds when rescued. He said another child, a 12-year-old, was the weight of an average 7-year-old.
David Turpin, 57, and Louise Turpin, 49, have each been charged with 12 counts of torture, 12 counts of false imprisonment, seven counts of abuse of a dependent adult and six counts of child abuse. David Turpin was also charged with one count of a lewd act on a child under the age of 14 by force, fear or duress. They have pleaded not guilty.
David Macher, a lawyer for David Turpin, told ABC News, “What we would like the public to know is that our clients are presumed to be innocent and that’s a very important presumption.” He added, “We’re going to provide a vigorous defense.”
Hestrin said, “We’re asking the public to reach out if they have any information about the case.”
Anyone with information can call the tip line at the Riverside District Attorney’s Office at 888-934-KIDS.
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