Riverside County, California Sheriff's Department made a shocking discovery Monday afternoon when they found 12 starving people being held captive in the small town of Perris.
The discovery was made after one of the girls, a 17-year-old, escaped, took a cell phone and called 911. She said 12 of her siblings were also being held captive, the Press Enterprise reported.
Officers were shocked to learn that the girl who escaped was 17. Because of malnurishment, she appeared to only be 10-years-old.
When Perris Police officers arrived at the scene, they discovered that multiple people were chained and padlocked in "dark and foul-smelling surroundings, something the parents, 57-year old David Allen Turpin and 49-year old Louise Anna Turpin, could not explain.
Deputies were also surprised to learn that seven of the other 12 people were actually adults. They were starved so severely that they looked younger than they actually were.
According to the Riverside County Sheriff's Department, the Turpins children ranged in age from two to 29.
The Turpins also had a school, Sandcastle Day School, registered with the Department of Education, in which David Turpin was listed as the principal. Department of Education records indicate that six students were enrolled at the school. One student was in each of the following grades: fifth, sixth, eighth, nine, 10th and 12th.
The Sheriff's Department posted the following press release on Facebook:
Both parents had their bail set at $9 million each. They are facing nine counts of suspicion of torture and 10 counts of child endangerment.