Invisible Children

13 Children of David and Louise Turpin

Content note: Case narratives include descriptions of severe violence inflicted on children, including abuse and neglect, sexual violence, torture, and murder, as well as mentions of suicide and domestic violence. They also include photos of victims and perpetrators of violence.

Thirteen children–ten girls and three boys, ages 2 to 29–were starved and imprisoned by their parents, David Allen Turpin and Louise Anna Turpin. The children were homeschooled.

The Turpins moved from Texas to California around 2010 and registered their homeschool as Sandcastle Day School in 2011. Neighbors did not know how many children lived there because they rarely saw them. When the children were rescued, only six of them were still minors–Sandcastle listed its enrollment as: “one student in each of the fifth, sixth, eighth, nine, 10th and 12th grades.” However, all of the Turpins’ children, even the adults, were malnourished, and some were “shackled to their beds with chains and padlocks in dark and foul-smelling surroundings.”

The abuse came to light when the Turpins’ 17-year-old daughter escaped from the home and called 911 on her parents’ cell phone. All thirteen of the Turpins’ children were hospitalized and the Turpins were charged with torture and child endangerment.

Date: January 14, 2018
Perris, California


Documents: Date:
Police find 13 emaciated siblings aged from 2 to 29 in Perris home with some chained to beds as parents are arrested 01-15-2018
12 starving siblings found chained to beds in Perris after sister escapes; parents arrested 01-15-2018
Torture investigation launched after 13 believed held captive in California home 01-15-2018
Parents arrested after children found shackled and malnourished in Perris home 01-15-2018
13 Siblings, Some Shackled to Beds, Were Held Captive by Parents, Police Say 01-15-2018