As the California parents accused of starving their 13 children and holding them captive are expected to make their first court appearance, new details are have emerged about the torturous condition the victims endured.
David Allen Turpin, 57, and his wife, Louisa Anna Turpin, 49, face possible torture and child endangerment charges.
The Turpin children, who range in age from 2 to 29, were reportedly only allowed to eat only one rationed meal a day and shower just twice a year, a law enforcement official told NBC News.
Some of the children were chained to furniture inside a room filled with urine and feces, the law enforcement official added.
After their rescue, all of the children were been admitted to hospitals and are now receiving treatment for severe malnutrition. The children have been given antibiotics, vitamins and nutrients, and psychologists will eventually give them an evaluation when their physical health improves.
The Turpins, who are being held on $9 million bail, had little contact with their family in West Virginia, relatives said they were shocked to hear of the alleged abuse.
“They were just like any ordinary family,” Betty Turpin, the 81-year-old mother of David Turpin told NBC. “And they had such good relationships. I’m not just saying this stuff. These kids — we were amazed. They were ‘sweetie’ this and ‘sweetie’ that to each other.”
Although relatives of the Turpins have expressed their surprise, neighbors who only saw glimpses of the family have detailed several odd encounters.
Mike Clifford, a former neighbor of the family when they lived in Murrieta, would come home from work around midnight and see the children marching from room to room upstairs. The children would reportedly march in single-file for hours, according to ABC News.
Clifford’s wife said she when she would sometimes encounter the children, they would speak in unison, and in a monotone and robotic way, Clifford told ABC News.
Multiple neighbors said they only saw the children when they would pile in their family van late at night. They would also only return late at night.
(Photo: Riverside County Sheriff’s Department)