Twelve people, brothers and sisters between the ages of 2 and 29, were rescued by police officers who found them in a wretched state-chained, dirty, at the edge of starvation – in their home in a small town in California. The parents were arrested, detained and expected to be brought before a court accused of torture and endangering the lives of their children, the police said.
13 siblings, ages 2 to 29, kept shackled in their home by parents, officials say
– Eyewitness News (@ ABC7NY) January 15, 2018
Authorities were alerted by a 13th victim: a 17-year-old girl who escaped from home in Perris, a two-hour drive southeast of Los Angeles.
The young man phoned 911 with a cell phone found inside the house.
According to the Sheriff’s Office of Riverside, police officers discovered the 12 faces, who originally believed that all of them were young children, chained into beds in the house. “They were shocked when they found out that the seven were actually adults.”
“The victims looked malnourished and they were very dirty,” the sheriff’s office said. The girl who advised the authorities – the police said they initially thought they were about 10 years old – managed to escape and call 911 on Sunday.
Parents, David Allen Terpine, 57, and Louisa Terpain, 49, were arrested and accused of torture and of putting children’s lives at risk. The guarantee that was set to be paid for their temporary release was set at $ 9 million, the police said.
Six of the children are minors. The remaining seven over 18. They told the police that they were starving. The police stressed in its statement, that it is not clear why parents kept their children in captivity.
A neighbor who answered the phone on Monday noted that the neighborhood where the house is located is newly built. He said he did not know the Terpine family, and that he had not noticed anything unusual in the neighborhood.
The neighborhood consists of single-family housesl. Parents are expected to be brought to court on Thursday.