Grandparents of 13 Shackled Siblings Describe David and Louise Turpin As ‘Highly-Respected’

David Allen Turpin and Louise Anna Turpin
David Allen Turpin and Louise Anna Turpin Riverside County Sheriff’s Department

David and Louise Turpin appeared to be the perfect parents — at least that’s what they wanted Facebook followers to believe. The couple posted photos of themselves with their 13 beaming children as they renewed their wedding vows in Las Vegas and visited Disneyland in matching outfits. And yet neighbors never saw the siblings playing outside. It’s now becoming clear why. 

As previously reported, on Sunday, January 14, police discovered that David and Louise’s kids aged 2 to 29 were bound, shackled, malnourished and dirty inside their Perris, California home. Officers were alerted by one of the victims, a 17-year-old female, who managed to escape and call the 911 using a cell phone found inside the house. According to a statement released by the Riverside Sheriff’s Department, the teen appeared to be “only 10 years old and slightly emaciated.”

The Perris family
The Perris family ABC

David’s parents, James and Betty Turpin, spoke to ABC News on Tuesday about how they were “surprised and shocked” at the allegations against their son and daughter-in-law, who they described as “highly-respected.” The West Virginia-based grandparents said that the children were given “very strict homeschooling” and that they would memorize long Bible passages. 

James and Betty told the outlet that David and Louise are in the Pentecostal faith and “God called on” them to have many children. When David and Betty last visited the Turpins “four or five years ago” they noticed the children “looked thin” but they seemed like a “happy family.”

David, 57, and Louise, 59, are charged with torture and child endangerment and scheduled for a court hearing on Thursday. Bail was set at $9 million for each. 

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