The Latest: Experts say escape tough for captive children
PERRIS, Calif. (AP) — The Latest on family members found shackled in a California home (all times local):
Psychiatrists are not surprised it took years for a 17-year-old California girl to escape the house where her parents allegedly starved and tortured their 13 children.
Such behavior is not uncommon even in cases of extreme deprivation.
Dr. Bruce Perry is a senior fellow at the Child Trauma Academy in Houston. He said Wednesday that the inaction is a coping mechanism that results from fear and confusion.
Perry says most people would not immediately respond to an opportunity to get away in a situation like this.
The parents remained in jail Wednesday and the children remained in hospitals, where they are recovering from malnutrition.
A California state lawmaker says there should be greater accountability for private home schools like the one run by two parents accused of torturing their 13 children.
Democratic Assemblyman Jose Medina represents the city of Perris where David Allen Turpin and Louise Anna Turpin are accused of keeping their children captive in a home that doubled as a private school for some of their children.
There is no state oversight of private and home schools in California.
Medina says he’ll introduce legislation aimed at adding inspections.
One idea is requiring a once-a-year walkthrough of such schools by officials. He’s been talking with the community’s superintendent and the state superintendent of schools.
Medina says he was disturbed to learn about allegations of what he characterized as “horrific violence” in the home.
Officials say there are no records that fire officials in the California city of Perris conducted required annual inspections at the home that served as a private school where authorities say 13 children were tortured by their parents.
In response to a public records request by The Associated Press, Perris assistant city clerk Judy Haughney said Wednesday there were no records of any fire inspections conducted at the home. The city’s fire marshal, Dave Martinez, did not return repeated phone messages seeking comment.
David Allen Turpin and his wife, Louise Anna Turpin, were arrested Sunday after authorities found the malnourished children in their home in the Los Angeles suburb.
The house doubled as a private school. But no state agency regulates or oversees private schools in California.
They are, however, subject to an annual inspection by the state or local fire marshal.
The sister of a woman accused with her husband of keeping their 13 children captive in California says she never got to know her nieces and nephews.
Elizabeth Jane Flores tells ABC News’ “Good Morning America” that she tried for years to get in touch with her sister, Louise Anna Turpin, but Turpin shut her out.
Louise Turpin, 49, and her husband, 57-year-old David Allen Turpin, face torture and child endangerment charges. Officials say their children were malnourished and chained to furniture.
Flores tearfully said Wednesday that she and Turpin didn’t have a relationship for decades beyond the odd phone call. Flores says she is shocked by her sister’s arrest.
Another sister, Teresa Robinette, tells NBC’s “Today” show that Louise Turpin’s children lived a strict existence without any social life.
The sister of a woman who along with her husband faces allegations of keeping their 13 children captive in their California home says her nieces and nephews faced an extremely strict existence.
On the “Today” show Wednesday, Teresa Robinette, whose sister, Louise Anna Turpin, and brother-in-law, David Allen Turpin, have been jailed and could face charges of torture and child endangerment, says the children didn’t live a normal life.
Robinette says the children didn’t have a social life and weren’t allowed to watch TV.
Officials said the children, ranging in age from 2 to 29, were so malnourished the older ones looked like children. Robinette says she voiced her concerns about the children to her sister but was told their father was tall and lanky and they’d grow up to be like him.
A 17-year-old girl who looked closer to 10 jumped out a window, called 911, and showed the world the secret horror she and her 12 brothers and sisters had been living through.
Her suburban Southern California home served as a private school and a prison for the siblings aged 2 to 29.
And until the girl fled with photographic evidence, it appears no one, neither neighbors nor public officials, knew anything about what was happening inside.
Deputies said some siblings were shackled to furniture in the filthy, foul-smelling conditions. They were so malnourished the older ones still looked like children.
The parents, 49-year-old Louise Anna Turpin and 57-year-old David Allen Turpin, were jailed on $9 million bail. Charges that may include torture and child endangerment could come Wednesday.