Calif. parents of 13 children held captive charged with torture

David Turpin's lawyer, Deputy Public Defender David Macher, had only begun to investigate the allegations but said the case was going to be a challenge.

"As a prosecutor there are some cases that haunt you", Riverside County District Attorney Michael Hestrin said at a news conference Thursday.

Seven of the children are adults ranging in age from 18 to 29 and all 13 "appeared to be malnourished and very dirty", police said.

The abuse began when the family lived in Fort Worth, Texas, Hestrin said.

Some of the children would be chained for weeks or months at a time and wouldn't be freed to use the bathroom, he said. Flores admits she was a bit creeped out by David. She says people should not be afraid to raise their worries, via the police, the local authorities, or a child abuse charity. One of the only things the children were allowed to do was to write in their journals. Riverside law enforcement officials are now scouring through the notebooks, according to USA Today.

District Attorney Mike Hestrin said the victims were severely malnourished, have cognitive impairment and lack basic knowledge of life.

That, Perry said, makes the 17-year-old's determination to get away all the more fantastic. It was like a joke.

"I have four siblings now instead of five", she added.

Why not share this with the authorities?

Psychologist Rebecca Bailey says it's important for the family to remain together. I was treated like one of the kids, kind of.

"I saw them about 7 or 8pm on Saturday".

One video shows 10 female children in matching purple plaid dresses walking down the aisle ahead of Louise toward David, who waited at the altar with two male children in suits.

FacebookDavid and Louise Turpin are pictured in this Facebook photo.

In 1984, Robinette's mother allowed her to date Turpin behind her preacher-father's back, Robinette's younger sister and half-brother, Teresa Robinette and Billy Lambert, told the Daily Mail.

Louise's elopement and teenage wedding caused a rift in the family and her parents eventually divorced, reported DailyMailTV.

Earlier this week, Elizabeth revealed how she had no idea her nieces and nephews were being abused because the Turpins cut themselves off from the rest of her family and did not allow them to contact the kids.

Flores says her sister had cut her off from seeing her nieces and nephews. The parents would buy toys, the prosecutor said, but keep them in the packaging.

"Sure, we're saying we should have known, but behind closed doors you don't know what's going on", she told the Associated Press.

Josh Tiedeman-Bell fought back tears Thursday as he talked of occasionally seeing some of the children and having no clue of what they were enduring. They deny the charges, despite the mountain of evidence found at their home. "This means that abusing parents or carers never learn that there can be consequences from their cruel behaviours to children and children, in turn, never experience ordinary, non-abusing adults".

David, 57 and Louise, 49, have both been charged with child abuse.

"If I went to get in the shower, he would come in while I was in there and watch me, and it was like a joke. But we do need to acknowledge the courage of the young girl who escaped from that residence to bring attention so they could get the help they so needed". A third male child dressed in a suit appeared later in the video during various dance performances with the Elvis impersonator and the family.

Therapists who have worked with children who went through similar ordeals agree that the teenager had to overcome mental hurdles as well as physical ones like being chained to a bed.

  • Wendy Palmer