PERRIS — A Perris couple were arrested on suspicion of torture and child abuse after police found several of their children chained to beds in putrid surroundings, authorities said Monday.
The discovery came Sunday after one of the children, a 17-year-old girl, escaped from the house and dialed 911 on a cellphone she found in the home, according to an account released by Perris police.
When officers from Perris and deputies from the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department met the girl, she appeared to be about 10 years old and emaciated, police said.
Inside the house officers found “several children shackled to their beds with chains and padlocks in dark and foul-smelling surroundings,” the statement said. The youngest was 2 years old. Like their sister, the 12 siblings in the house appeared to police to be minors and malnourished, but authorities determined that seven of them were adults from the ages of 18 to 29, police said.
Police provided food and drinks to the children, who “claimed to be starving,” before they were admitted to hospitals.
The parents, David Allen Turpin, 57, and Louise Anna Turpin, 49 were jailed; bail was set at $9 million.
Public records show that the couple own the nondescript tract house. Its address is also listed in a state Department of Education directory as the location of the Sandcastle Day School, a private K-12 campus that opened in 2011. Turpin is listed as the principal.
Public records indicate that the couple have lived at the Perris address since 2010 and lived in Texas for many years before coming to California. They declared bankruptcy twice, public records show