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From a Desperate Escape to Startling Abuse Allegations: How House of Horrors Investigation Unfolded

People Logo People | Slide 1 of 18: The California child abuse investigation whose house of horrors has made international headlines began early on Jan. 14, when a 17-year-old girl — so small she looked seven years younger — escaped her family’s home in Perris and called 911, claiming her 12 siblings, ages 2 to 29, were being held captive by parents David and Louise Turpin, 56 and 49. “Further investigation revealed several children shackled to their beds with chains and padlocks in dark and foul-smelling surroundings, but the parents were unable to immediately provide a logical reason why their children were restrained in that manner,” authorities with the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department said in a news release on Jan. 15. “Deputies located what they believed to be 12 children inside the house, but were shocked to discover that [seven] of them were actually adults, ranging in age from 18 to 29. The victims appeared to be malnourished and very dirty.” As authorities would later explain, the 17-year-old’s call to authorities was the culmination of a plan more than two years in the making.

A Teen's Escape Reveals Deplorable Conditions

The California child abuse investigation into a house of horrors that has made international headlines began early on Jan. 14, when a 17-year-old girl — so small she looked seven years younger — escaped her family’s home in Perris and called 911. The teen claimed her 12 siblings, ages 2 to 29, were being held captive by parents David and Louise Turpin, 56 and 49.

“Further investigation revealed several children shackled to their beds with chains and padlocks in dark and foul-smelling surroundings, but the parents were unable to immediately provide a logical reason why their children were restrained in that manner,” authorities with the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department said in a news release on Jan. 15.

“Deputies located what they believed to be 12 children inside the house, but were shocked to discover that [seven] of them were actually adults, ranging in age from 18 to 29. The victims appeared to be malnourished and very dirty.”

As authorities would later explain, the 17-year-old’s call to authorities was the culmination of a plan more than two years in the making.

© David-Louis Turpin/Facebook

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