David Turpin is now accused of kidnapping his wife Louise Turpin when she was in high school, according to authorities Saturday.
The Turpins reportedly eloped when Louise was only 16 years old after David bribed school officials to let him sign her out of school in Princeton, West Virginia, reported The New York Post. Louise’s father Wayne eventually found out that his daughter was missing from school officials. The two were eventually caught in Texas and her family agreed to let them stay married.
According to Louise’s sister Elizabeth Jane Flores, a Christian Motivational Speaker in Cleveland, Tennessee, Louise had a reclusive life from the family, claiming she had not seen her sister in 19 years and was never allowed to see her children, Flores told the Daily Mail. Their parents, who are now deceased, were never allowed to visit the children at their Perris, California, home. Louise also did not attend her parents’ funeral,her other sister Teresa Robinette told NBC News.
The Turpin children, ages 2-29, are currently hospitalized with severe malnourishment and cognitive issues. The Turpin’s 17-year-old daughter, who appeared 10 due to starvation, escaped through a window Jan. 14. and used a deactivated cell phone to call authorities. Police found two of the children chained to furniture upon arrival. The girl also claimed that they were planning their escape for two years.
The children, ages 2-29, were allegedly abused by their parents, with punishments ranging from being chained to furniture if they washed their hands above their wrists to only showering once a year. The parents also allegedly taunted their children by eating pies in front of them and only giving them meager rations of food.
The Turpin parents are charged with 12 counts of torture, 12 counts of false imprisonment, seven counts of abuse of a dependent adult, six counts of child abuse or neglect, and David is also charged with lewd acts against a child under 14. The two can face life in jail and are both being held on a $12 million bail following a court arraignment Thursday.
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