For two years, a 17-year-old girl planned her escape from a California house where she and 12 siblings were reportedly starved, tortured, and held captive for years. On Jan. 14, she made her move. Now her timing is particularly interesting.
After the unnamed girl slipped out a window and called 9-1-1, authorities arrived to find a filthy living environment where some of the siblings — ages 2 to 29 — were imprisoned in chains. Their parents, David and Louise, were arrested and charged with 75 charges of abuse, endangerment, and torture.
Now, according to multiple ABC News sources, David had gotten a job transfer to Oklahoma and was in the process of moving the family out there. Previously, the family resided in Texas before moving to southern California in 2011.
According to earlier reports, David had initially worked as an engineer for the defense contractor Northrop Grumman before losing his job. The family has declared bankruptcy twice since moving to California.
Now it appears that David was back to work with Northrop and was preparing for a fifth move in the past 18 years. The family has lived in the Fort Worth, Texas area; nearby Rio Vista; Murrieta, California; and nearby Perris.
"There were boxes in the house consistent with moving — concentrated in hallways, entryway, and bedrooms,” ABC’s source told them, also indicating that it appeared the family was going to leave “within days.”
It’s unknown what role that imminent move may have played in the 17-year-old daughter choosing to make her escape. Meanwhile, more information is coming out about the eldest Turpin son who was actually allowed to leave his house to attend community college classes.
According to the Desert Sun, Louise would drive her son to Mt. San Jacinto College, more than 30 minutes away from their Perris neighborhood. Louise would then sit outside his class and immediately take him home afterward.
Classmates described him as “sweet but odd,” and noticed strange behavior other than his penchant for wearing exactly the same clothing all semester.
Student Angie Parra said, "I could see sadness in his face. His eyes — he never wanted to make eye contact with anyone."
And at a school potluck, his behavior shocked Parra when he “stood by the table and didn’t sit down with a plate. He literally ate plate after plate after plate.”
The Turpin parents allegedly fed their children only once a day, allowed them to shower only once or twice a year, and often taunted the kids with pies and pizzas they wouldn’t let them eat. According to school records, the oldest Turpin son attended college for six semesters and got As in almost every class.
Please pray the 13 Turpin siblings as they adjust to a new life. In related news, a former Texas neighbor is regretting not speaking up when he witnessed horrendous living conditions. It’s brought up questions of why no one else spoke up and when it is a good time to say something.