Parents of 13 malnourished kids set to learn charges, appear in court

Parents of 13 malnourished kids set to learn charges, appear in court

Many victims of abuse suffer from severe depression, anxiety, nightmares and are easily startled in public.

It comes after Riverside County District Attorney Mike Hestrin revealed the horrific conditions the Turpin parents allegedly kept their children in.

"It's hard to think of them as adults", Mark Uffer, Corona Regional Medical Center CEO, said Tuesday. "They're in good hands, they're being cared for, their wellbeing is being looked at, their health is being looked at".

In the neighborhood where the kids were hardly known, a steady flow of strangers visited the house Thursday and left stuffed animals and large bouquets of red heart-shaped balloons on the walkway.

As the BBC reports, Mr Turpin is also facing a charge of performing a lewd act on a child in addition to the torture and false imprisonment charges levelled at both parents.

Hestrin did not say what finally triggered the girl to act.

The parents were jailed on $12 million bail each after pleading not guilty Thursday at their first court appearance. If convicted of all charges, the defendants are facing up to 94 years to life in prison.

Those who tried to speak to the children over the years say they were rebuffed. 10 of the children are females and three are males.

Flores, who was in her late teens at the time, said her sister wouldn't allow her to invite friends over or allow her to call friends. When they were shackled, the often were not even released to go to the bathroom. "What started out as neglect became severe, pervasive, prolonged child abuse". "The number of individuals who would immediately respond to an opportunity where they could get away is very small compared to the number of people who would have that paralysis and insecurity and confusion about what to do", said Dr. Bruce Perry, a psychiatrist and senior fellow at the ChildTrauma Academy in Houston. Hestrin said they lived in Fort Worth, Texas, until 2010 when they moved to Murrieta, Calif., and finally settled in Perris in 2014.

The 17-year-old who would eventually escape to contact authorities had been working on the plan for two years, Hestrin said.

"They would buy pies, apple pies and pumpkin pies, and leave it on the counter and let children look at it, but not let them eat the food".

"Sometimes in this business we are faced with human depravity, and that's what we're looking at here", Hestrin said.

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The couple's children range in age from two to 29, but the torture and false imprisonment charges do not include the two-year-old.

Authorities learnt of the horrors inside the house after a 17-year-old girl called 911 early on Sunday, saying she had escaped through a window from her parents' house, where she and her siblings had been trapped.

A law-enforcement officer with knowledge of the situation told NBC News on Thursday that the Turpins allowed their children to shower just twice a year, and fed them just one rationed meal a day.

Another sibling escaped with the girl over the weekend but turned back out of fear. Although seven of the Turpin children are adults, they were so emaciated they looked like children, police said.

The one thing the children were allowed to do was write in journals, and investigators were reviewing hundreds of them to gather evidence, Hestrin said. Sheriff's deputies said the stench in the house was overwhelming.

The victims, ages 2 to 29, were severely malnourished, suffering from muscle wasting and stunted growth.

Susan von Zabern, director of the county's social service department, said it was "the first opportunity to intervene". "You never don't hear or see nine kids".

"It seemed that the mother was perplexed as to why we were at that residence", he said of the Sunday encounter. Some of them were also chained to other furniture in the house when authorities found them.

They had not been to a doctor in years and none have ever seen a dentist, Hestrin added.

One of the adult children attended classes outside the home, but Mr Hestrin said Louise Turpin would wait outside the classroom and take him home once it was finished.

In 2015, Kimberly Milligan, a neighbor of the Turpins in California, said she was with her son checking out Christmas decorations on nearby homes.

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