A 17-year old girl slips out of a window in the dark of night with her younger sibling. They’re finally carrying out the plan they devised just two years prior. A plan to escape the hell they all experienced every day.
The kids of this California home were tortured by their biological parents daily. To the world they seemed fine, dressed in matching outfits, like the picture below of the children at their parent’s vow renewal. But in reality, the torture they experienced was very real.
In a recent PEOPLE release, they stated, “Authorities alleged that the children were allowed to shower no more than once a year and were regularly fed very little. They alleged the kids were restrained by ropes and later chains as a form of punishment.”
Additionally, the children slept all day and got up only at night. During the day their beds would become their prisons, as they would often be roped and chained to them—amongst other pieces of furniture. “Police allege that the 13 Turpin children, ranging in ages from 2 to 29, were found living in squalor with some “shackled” to furniture.”
The last time any of the kids had gone to the doctor was four years ago, and none of them had ever gone to a dentist. They were homeschooled and rarely had interactions with the outside world. Many of the neighbors thought they were all much younger than they were due to the malnourishment. They were shocked when they found out they were in fact much older.
“One of the victims, 12, has the weight of an average 7-year-old, police said. The 29-year-old victim weighed just 82 lbs. when found.” Yes, the oldest was in college and weighed only 82 pounds. The sickest part about them not feeding their kids enough was that the parents were always well fed, often leaving treats out that “no one could touch.”
“Bizarrely, however, he said David and Louise allegedly purchased enough food for themselves and would leave some of it, including pies, out on the counter where their children could see — but could not eat it.”
So, when this brave 17-year old girl escaped, she took a burner phone with her full of evidence of the multiple forms of abuse. Her younger sibling, too afraid of the possible repercussions, turned back. This girl, though, forged on with only one thought—save my siblings. She called 911, and when the police arrived at her location, she showed them the picture. When the police showed up at the “torture home,” they saw first-hand everything she had shown them.
Luckily, the kids are now safe and being nursed back to health, but it is still unclear whether or not they will be able to stay together long term. Recent reports say the kids all love each other very much. It is everyone’s hopes they can remain together. Please pray for these kids. We will too.
The parents are now getting what they deserve. “David and Louis were charged with 12 counts of torture, seven counts of abuse of a dependent adult, six counts of child abuse or neglect and 12 counts of false imprisonment for crimes dating back to 2010,” PEOPLE reported.
“Both plead not guilty to all charges and remain in custody. If convicted, each faces up to 94 years to life in prison.”
The police have plenty of journals to go through from the kids detailing the abuse. It is very likely these parents will go to prison for a very, very long time.
My heart goes out to these poor kids. Please continue to pray for the siblings that experienced this abuse. Pray they will find a family willing to accept all 13 kids. Pray they will be able to recover and seek the Lord in the process—the source of true healing. Let’s also take a moment to commend this brave girl’s actions. She saved her siblings.
In other news, this 77-year old nun takes on violence in her neighborhood. Read this heroic story here.