Authorities in California have said that they rescued 13 malnourished siblings from a home in Perris, about 70 miles east of Los Angeles. Some of them were even allegedly chained to beds.
Police made the discovery after one of the captives, a 17-year-old girl, escaped over the weekend and notified the Riverside Sheriff’s Department that her siblings “were being held captive inside the residence by her parents,” reports the Independent.
Initially, officials believed the “slightly emaciated” teenager was only 10 years old. They confronted a horrific scene at her home, according to a press release.
“Further investigation revealed several children shackled to their beds with chains and padlocks in dark and foul-smelling surroundings, but the parents were unable to immediately provide a logical reason why their children were restrained in that manner,” the department said.
“The victims appeared to be malnourished and very dirty,” the department said.
Not all of them were children: of the 13 victims, seven were between the age of 18 and 29, according to the Sheriff’s Department.
The children’s parents, David Allen Turpin and Louise Anna Turpin, were arrested and each charged with nine counts of torture and 10 counts of child endangerment. Furthermore, a bail was set at $9 million (Rs 57 crore).
-- With inputs from ANI