David and Louise Turpin have been charged with numerous criminal counts involving child endangerment, abuse, and torture in relation to their 13 young and adult kids. They’ve pleaded not guilty to all charges, yet as the kids’ lawyers are now filling in the public on what the 13 siblings are healing from, they’re creating an image of a lifetime of neglect and isolation from the outside world.
As we’ve learned previously, the six young and seven adult Turpin kids were reportedly starved, beaten, forced to live in a filthy environment, and punished by being chained up weeks or months at a time without access to a bathroom. They also weren’t given much exposure to the world around them. When police raided the home after a 17-year-old daughter called 911 in January, some of the kids didn’t know what a police officer was and were confused about what the word “medication” meant.
Now they’re making progress as they’re being treated at two separate facilities. What’s becoming more and more evident, though, is just how psychologically troubled they are.
According to CBS News, the Corona Medical Center, where the adult siblings are being cared for, has set up an outdoor recreation area for them so they can heal physically from effects of abuse and malnourishment. But a huge change those helping them are making in their lives is encouraging the adults to actually start making their own decision about what to do with their lives.
"That's a big deal, deciding what they're going to read, deciding what they're going to wear — these are all things that are decisions they make every day that are new and empowering," attorney Jack Osborn said, suggesting that such basic, daily choices were absent from their lives, even though some of the adults are as old as their late 20s.
"I just want you to understand just what special individuals they are. They all have their own aspirations and their own interests and now they may have an opportunity to address those, which is really exciting," Osborn continued.
Corona Mayor Karen Spiegel has taken a special interest in making sure the siblings are being cared for and revealed that "Some of them have never really seen a toothbrush before. ... Things that we just take for granted mean so much to these kids.”
According to People, she said that the kids have been loving and appreciative toward those helping them, adding that, “Even though they’re adults, we keep calling kids; they just have some growing up to do. They’re just behind but they’ll get through.”
“They are progressing well, and looking into the future, seeing where their lives could go and they have the support system. They have the whole community behind them,” Spiegel continued.
The community, and many outside the area, have made their support known with a large number of donations to help cover the cost of getting the siblings healed up and adjusted to living in a normal society.
And they are looking to the future. Osborn said their initial desire is to go out and explore nature — something they may have never gotten to do in their lives — and do fun things as simple as going to movie theaters. Their long-term goals are to complete their educations and land jobs so they can support themselves.
Please pray for these siblings as they work to overcome their horrific upbringing. In other news, Kathie Lee Gifford used her opportunity to talk about Billy Graham to say a whole lot more.