California couple accused of starving, torturing 13 siblings had "healthy" dogs

California couple accused of starving, torturing 13 siblings had

The Coalition for Responsible Home Education (CRHE) keeps a database of homeschool abuse cases with 380 incidents of severe or fatal child neglect recorded since 2000.

David and Louise Turpin now face charges of torture, child abuse, false imprisonment, and abuse of a dependent adult. Hestrin said that David Turpin also was charged with a lewd act on a child by force or fear of duress.

"As a prosecutor, there are cases that stick with you, that will haunt you", District Attorney Mike Hestrin said.

David Turpin's parents, James and Betty Turpin, still live in the area and said they had not been to California in about six years, but that "the kids were fine" when they last visited.

All the victims except for the toddler are severely malnourished, Hestrin said, adding that the eldest victim - a 29-year-old woman - weighs only 82 pounds.

Others who knew the Turpins are sharing their stories about the family as investigators try to piece together why their 13 children were locked in a basement chained to their beds.

The victims range in age from two to 29. Prosecutors have not alleged the 2-year-old was tortured.

The Turpins are now being held on $9 million bail in Riverside, California. "So what they pick up from us as a group of providers in this hospital is going to be the stepping stone for the future, adjustment to life".

Since news of the arrest of David and Louise Turpin, they have started to look at all the damage, differently.

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Even public defender David Macher acknowledged it "is going to be a challenge" to argue against such serious allegations, but he noted that the "clients are presumed to be innocent - and that's a very important presumption".

David, 57 and Louise, 49, have both been charged with child abuse. They deny the charges, despite the mountain of evidence found at their home.

The paper said the same year David Turpin was working as an engineer for defense contractor Northrop Grumman, earning $140,000 a year, while his wife was listed as a homemaker. Louise Turpin identified herself as a housewife in a 2011 bankruptcy filing.

"The Compound" was the name she gave for the property the Turpins moved to in Hill County, after leaving Fort Worth. The victims were fed very little on a schedule.

California Assemblyman Jose Medina believes that the "torture house" where 16 children were held in captivity, starved, and beaten happened because of poor oversight of private and home schools. Three children had been shackled to beds, and deputies found a 22-year-old chained to a bed. That official also told NBC News that the brothers and sisters were only allowed to shower twice a year. However, the older children will have a tougher road ahead because they endured torture and horrendous conditions for a much longer period of time.

They were forced to sleep during the day and would stay up at night. When found, they hadn't been to a doctor in over four years and had never been to a dentist, he added.

"We can assume that there could be depression and nightmares", said Ochberg, a key prosecution witness in the trial of Ariel Castro in Ohio.

While the children were deprived of food, the parents ate well and even taunted the children by letting them see apple and pumpkin pies they weren't allowed to have, Mr Hestrin said. She had been trying to escape for two years, Hestrin said. "It breaks our hearts".

Cops said the couple's home in California was in a squalid state and reeked of urine, with the kids in a malnourished state.

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