13 Kids and Counting

Kylie Stowe, Writer

The thirteen malnourished children of Louise and David Turpin were found shackled in their home in Perris, California. The police arrived at their home after one of the 17-year-old children escaped the house and called the police on a cellphone she found in the house. All 13 children ranged from 2-29 years old. All children were found malnourished and dirty; they weren’t allowed to go to the bathroom,and  the house itself was unkempt and filthy.

The Turpin parents were said to be feeding their children very little, except for the two- year-old. They would buy food for themselves and leave it out on the counter for the other children to see, but they would never let them eat any.

The children were restricted to one bath a year and never saw a dentist. The Turpins claimed to homeschool the 13 children but all of them lacked basic knowledge, showing evidence of no schooling. When this came to people’s attention in January, their aunt, Teresa Robinette, voiced her concern to Louise but she would always brush it off. “She would laugh it off and say David’s so tall and lanky, they are going to be like him,” according to Robinette in an interview with The Chicago Tribune.

During the house search, investigators recovered many journals kept by the children telling each story of torture which can be used as evidence against Louise and David while they are charged with 12 counts of torture, seven accounts of abuse of a dependent adult, six counts of child abuse and neglect, and 12 counts of false imprisonment. David is also being charged with one count of lewd act on a child under the age of 14 by force, fear, or duress. If the two are convicted they will face up to 94 years in prison; their bail is set at $9 million.