ABC News reports:
The grandparents of 13 children allegedly abused and kept shackled to beds in their Southern California home said the parents had so many kids because “God called on them.”
ABC News spoke with the parents of David Turpin, who was arrested along with his wife Louise on Monday for holding their 13 children “shackled to their beds with chains and padlocks in dark and foul-smelling surroundings,” the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department office said in a statement.
State records show the children were home schooled. The private school the kids attended, Sandcastle Day School, had the same address as the family home and the six attendees were all their children. James and Betty Turpin admitted the children were given “very strict home schooling,” and they were required to memorize long passages of the Bible.
The parents, David Allen Turpin, 57, and Louise Anna Turpin, 49, are accused of holding their children captive in their California home in filthy conditions, with some shackled to beds with chains and padlocks. They are charged with torture and child endangerment, and scheduled for a court hearing Thursday. Bail was set at $9 million for each. It was not immediately clear if the suspects had attorneys or whether they had entered a plea.
On Sunday, a 17-year-old girl managed to escape from their home in Perris, California, and called 911 from a cell phone she found in the house, police said. She claimed her 12 brothers and sisters were being held captive inside the home by her parents, the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department said.
Sheriff’s deputies went to the home and found 12 victims who “appeared malnourished and very dirty” with several shackled to their beds “in dark and foul-smelling surroundings,” the sheriff’s department said. All of them looked like children, police said, and officers were surprised to learn that seven of them were adults.
The escaped 17 year-old was so emaciated that the police initially thought her to be about ten years old.