Mother of California 'house of horrors' from Princeton


Investigators are considering sending cadaver dogs into the home of David and Louise Turpin, where their 13 malnourished and abused children were rescued earlier this month.

"The 17-year-old victim that escaped had been working on a plan with the siblings to escape this abuse for more than two years", he added.

The children had not been to a doctor in at least four years and none has ever visited a dentist, Hestrin said.

"They were just like any ordinary family", said Betty Turpin, 81.

Their 17-year-old daughter had been planning an escape with several other siblings for two years, Riverside County District Attorney Mike Hestrin said.

The brothers and sisters range in age from 2 to 29, and they are all now being treated for malnourishment.

The abuse and neglect began when the family lived in the Fort Worth, Texas, area, with the parents at one point residing apart from most of their children and dropping off food from time to time, Hestrin said. And a warning - this report you're about to hear includes descriptions of child abuse.

The Andersons thought the wear-and-tear inside the home came from animals, but suspect that after hearing about the allegations against the Turpins that the former homeowners allegedly abused their kids for years before their move to California. Flores admits she was a bit creeped out by David.

"She'd say, "Oh, the computer is broke" or "The camera isn't working", but what she was doing was stopping us from seeing inside their warped and twisted world", he said.

"As a prosecutor, there are some cases that haunt you", Hestrin said. Even more heartening: "They're hopeful that life will get better for them after this event", he shared. It was like a joke.

She doesn't explain exactly why she lost her kids but adds: "Even despite losing my husband and children, I was able to worship and have peace and joy that only God can give".

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Why not share this with the authorities?

"I lost my kids for a little while because of this. Now that I'm an adult and I look back I see things that I didn't see then". Both David and Louise were initially arrested on charges of torture and child endangerment.

Patricia Costales, chief executive of The Guidance Centre, a California-based nonprofit that provides children with mental health therapy, said of the younger children: "Their brains are still adapting, they're still forming, they're still developing their understanding of the world". All officials knew, thanks to paperwork called a private school affidavit, was that Turpin had run a K-12 school from his home since 2010, when the family lived in Murrieta.

Flores says her sister had cut her off from seeing her nieces and nephews. Officials with the Riverside County Sheriff's Department and Department of Public Social Services said they had never been called to the home to talk to the Turpins.

"Sure, we're saying we should have known, but behind closed doors you don't know what's going on", she told the Associated Press. She is off my family tree, she is dead to me.

Dressed all in black with their hands and legs shackled, the pair appeared calm as they submitted not guilty pleas.

The children, seven of who are actually now adults, are recovering in local hospitals.

The motives behind David and Louise Turpin's decision to lock their children up and starve them remain unclear to authorities. The teen who managed to get out did so with her younger sister, who panicked and went back to the house.

Photos of the Turpin family home captured right after they left in 1999 show boarded up windows and filth on the walls.

Turpin, a 57-year-old computer engineer, and his homemaker wife Louis Anna Turpin, 49, wanted a 14th child and had high hopes of getting their own reality TV show and becoming millionaires.