Parents of 13 malnourished children could get life in prison

PERRIS, Calif. — The parents of 13 malnourished children found in alleged captivity in Southern California have been charged with committing years of torture and abuse and could face up to life in prison.

Riverside County District Attorney Mike Hestrin announced the charges against David Allen Turpin, 57, and Louise Anna Turpin, 49, at a press conference Thursday.

Authorities say the situation came to light early Sunday when a 17-year-old daughter climbed out a window of their home, called 911 and showed deputies photos that substantiated her story.

Deputies found some of the children chained to furniture when they entered.

The Turpins pleaded not guilty in a California court to numerous charges that they tortured and abused the siblings for years.

They were each ordered held on $12 million bail after entering their pleas Thursday and were scheduled to return to court on Feb. 23.


Betty Turpin says her son told her he had so many kids because God wanted him to. She says her son shared her Pentecostal Christian faith but he wasn't affiliated with a church in California.