PRINCETON, WV (WOAY / AP) – James and Betty Turpin say they are shocked to hear about their son, his wife, and what they allegedly did to their 13 grandchildren.
The Turpins live in Princeton. Their son David also grew up in West Virginia.
James Turpin told The Associated Press Tuesday that all 13 children are David Turpin’s biological kids. He said none are adopted.
Fifty-seven-year-old David Turpin and his 49-year-old wife, Louise Turpin, were arrested Sunday on suspicion of torture and child endangerment. A court appearance is set for Thursday.
The older Turpin said he heard about the arrests Monday but declined further comment.
He confirmed that his son is an engineer.
Monday, their 17-year-old granddaughter called police after escaping from her family’s home in California where she and her 12 brothers and sisters were locked up in filthy conditions, some so malnourished officers at first believed all were children even though seven are adults.
Police went to the family home in Perris, about 70 miles southeast of Los Angeles on Sunday. The Riverside County Sheriff’s Department says deputies found several children shackled to their beds with chains and padlocks in dark, foul-smelling surroundings.
The siblings range in age from 2 to 29.
Fifty-seven-year-old David Allen Turpin and 49-year-old Louise Anna Turpin each were held on $9 million bail. They could face charges including torture and child endangerment.
Attorneys have advised James and Betty not to talk to the media, but when we spoke to them briefly at their house, they told us they were very shaken up.
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