The Latest: Officiant: Captive kids, parents seemed normal

AP News
Posted: Jan 16, 2018 8:27 PM
The Latest: Officiant: Captive kids, parents seemed normal

PERRIS, Calif. (AP) — The Latest on family members found shackled in a California home (all times local):

5:30 p.m.

The Elvis impersonator who officiated three wedding vow renewal ceremonies for two California parents accused of malnourishing and torturing their children says nothing seemed amiss with the family.

Kent Ripley officiated the three ceremonies for David and Louise Turpin at A Elvis Chapel in Las Vegas in 2011, 2013 and 2015.

He says he felt like he got to know the family, making the news of the Turpins' arrest all the more shocking.

He says the couple's 13 children, ranging from 2 to 29 years old, all looked young and thin but never like they weren't getting enough food.

Ripley reviewed three videos of the couple's renewal ceremonies and says they now seem "haunting and disturbing."


5 p.m.

A nutrition expert says California siblings who were small and malnourished when they were found captive in their home may have been deprived of nutrients during key growth-spurt years.

Dr. Donald Kirby, director of the Center for Human Nutrition at the Cleveland Clinic, said Tuesday that deprivation can lock kids into their smaller bodies, with further growth impossible.

The 13 siblings discovered Sunday ranged in age from 2 to 29. Kirby says for an adult to be so malnourished they appear more like a child, they need to have lacked nutrients for years.

A 17-year-old girl who escaped and called 911 was so small that deputies initially mistook her for a 10-year-old.

Kirby says the recovery time for long-term malnutrition could take years.


1:25 p.m.

Allegations that a couple kept their 13 children, including some adults, captive in their California home has surprised their neighbors.

Kimberly Milligan says she was told the family had a dozen kids when she moved into the neighborhood 2½ years ago, but she never saw that many children.

Milligan says she didn't see friends or family coming to the home. She also never saw or heard children playing outside. But she didn't suspect anything like what authorities allege.

The Riverside County Sheriff's Department says a 17-year-old daughter escaped out a window and called 911 on a cellphone early Sunday.

Deputies found the children, who appeared small and malnourished, and some were chained to pieces of furniture. The parents are under arrest.


10:30 a.m.

California authorities say the mother of 13 children kept locked in filthy conditions was "perplexed" about why police came to their home.

Riverside County sheriff's Capt. Greg Fellows described the reaction of 49-year-old Louise Turpin but didn't know the reaction of the father, 57-year-old David Turpin.

The children, some of them chained to furniture, were described as weak and small for their age. Fellows called it torture. The abuse was discovered when a 17-year-old girl jumped out a window and called 911 Sunday.

The sheriff's captain says deputies had never been to the home and neither had social service workers.

Corona Regional Medical Center CEO Mark Uffer says his facility is treating seven of the adult children. Uffer says they are small and clearly malnourished but are stable and very friendly.


9:05 a.m.

The father of a California man accused of keeping his 13 children locked up in filthy conditions says he was surprised by news of his son's arrest.

James Turpin of Princeton, West Virginia, told The Associated Press Tuesday that all 13 children are David Turpin's biological kids. He said none are adopted.

Fifty-seven-year-old David Turpin and his 49-year-old wife, Louise Turpin, were arrested Sunday on suspicion of torture and child endangerment. A court appearance is set for Thursday.

The older Turpin said he heard about the arrests Monday but declined further comment.

James Turpin confirmed that his son is an engineer. He told WVNS-TV in Ghent, West Virginia, that David grew up in West Virginia.

Investigators say the 13 brothers and sisters had been malnourished and that several children were shackled to beds.


This item has been corrected to show the TV station attribution should be WVNS-TV in Ghent, West Virginia, not WTRF-TV in Wheeling, West Virginia.


12:05 a.m.

A 17-year-old girl called police after escaping from her family's home where she and her 12 brothers and sisters were locked up in filthy conditions, some so malnourished officers at first believed all were children even though seven are adults.

Police went to the family home in Perris, about 70 miles southeast of Los Angeles on Sunday. The Riverside County Sheriff's Department says deputies found several children shackled to their beds with chains and padlocks in dark, foul-smelling surroundings.

The siblings range in age from 2 to 29.

Fifty-seven-year-old David Allen Turpin and 49-year-old Louise Anna Turpin each were held on $9 million bail. They could face charges including torture and child endangerment.

It wasn't immediately known if they had attorneys.