“Severe, pervasive, prolonged.”
That is how a California prosecutor is characterizing the abuse a married couple allegedly inflicted on their 13 children over a period of at least seven years — torture, the prosecutor said, that included beatings, starvation and strangulation.
At a Thursday morning news conference, Riverside
County District Attorney Mike Hestrin laid out a series of startling
accusations about the house of horrors authorities found earlier this
week in Perris, California. Inside, according to authorities, the
children of David and Louise Turpin were kept captive, malnourished and
abused, with some of them in chains.
Speaking to reporters, Hestrin described at length
the nature of the alleged abuse while noting it was only a “snapshot” of
the case thus far. The 13 Turpin children range in age from 2 to 29.
Many key questions remain unanswered as the
investigation continues, and Hestrin declined to comment on a possible
motive. He said it appears “no one [outside the family] noticed what was
Hestrin said the abuse the couple’s children faced
intensified over time, as the family moved first from the Fort Worth
area in Texas, in 2010, to Murrieta, California, and then to Perris in
“What started out as neglect became severe, pervasive, prolonged child abuse,” Hestrin said.
“This is severe emotional, physical abuse. There’s no way around that,” he said. “This is depraved conduct.”