Published: Wed, January 17, 2018
Worldwide | By Isabel Fisher

13 siblings held captive in California residence

13 siblings held captive in California residence

Authorities were alerted after one of the children, an emaciated 17-year-old girl, called police after escaping through a window of the house in Perris, about 70 miles east of Los Angeles.

The escaped teen claimed that her 12 siblings - ranging in age from 2 to 29 - were held captive in the home by their parents, officers from the Perris Police Department and Riverside County Sheriff's Department said.

Police said the victims were transported to the police station to be interviewed and were given food and water after they told deputies they were starving.

After being rescued, the children were taken to two hospitals for treatment.

The seven adult children were being cared for at Corona Regional Medical Center, said CEO Mark Uffer.

The parents of the malnourished siblings who were found in a house in California have been arrested and now face torture and child endangerment charges.

Riverside County Sheriff's Department investigated and found the rest of her siblings in a dark and foul-smelling room.

"They were never mean, but the vibe I got was stay in your zone, and we'll stay in our zone" said neighbour Kimberly Milligan.

David's parents, James and Betty Turpin, spoke to ABC News on Tuesday about how they were "surprised and shocked" at the allegations against their son and daughter-in-law, who they described as "highly-respected".

State records show the home has the same address as Sandcastle Day School, where one of the suspects, David Turpin, is listed as principal. The couple also filed for bankruptcy in California in 2011 and were reportedly owed between $100,000 and $500,000 in debt.

"The victims appeared to be malnourished and very dirty".

The parents were arrested and booked on charges of torture and child endangerment.

Police initially thought the 17-year-old girl was about 10-years-old. They are now under the care of Child Protective Services and Adult Protective Services.

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