PERRIS, Calif. — California authorities said the mother of 13 children kept locked in filthy conditions was “perplexed” about why police came to their home.
Riverside County sheriff’s Capt. Greg Fellows described the reaction of 49-year-old Louise Turpin but didn’t know the reaction of the father, 57-year-old David Turpin.
The children, some of them chained to furniture, were described as weak and small for their age. Fellows called it torture. The abuse was discovered when a 17-year-old girl jumped out a window and called 911 Sunday.
The sheriff’s captain said deputies had never been to the home and neither had social service workers.
Corona Regional Medical Center CEO Mark Uffer said his facility is treating seven of the adult children. Uffer says they are small and clearly malnourished but are stable and very friendly.
The father of David Turpin saids he was surprised by news of his son’s arrest.
James Turpin of Princeton, West Virginia, told The Associated Press Tuesday that all 13 children are David Turpin’s biological kids. He said none are adopted.
The older Turpin said he heard about the arrests Monday but declined further comment.
James Turpin confirmed that his son is an engineer. He told WVNS-TV in Ghent, West Virginia, that David grew up in West Virginia.
The siblings range in age from 2 to 29.