By Cosmas Nkeremwem
The parents, Mr and Mrs Turpin
Police in California in the United States of America have arrested two parents who were found to have allegedly chained their 13 children to their beds in their Perris home, 95 kilometres from Los Angeles.
The parents, David Allen Turpin, 57, and Louise Anna Turpin, 49, were arrested at the weekend after one of the children, their 17 year old daughter, managed to escape and alerted the police. The children are aged between two and 29.
According to Police officers, they found “several children shackled to their beds with chains and padlocks in dark and foul-smelling surroundings”. The officers were “shocked” to discover that seven of those held in the house were actually adults aged between 18 and 29. The victims appeared to be malnourished and very dirty,” the police said.
All the children were later taken to a local hospital where they are being treated for malnourishment.
The family when the going was good
According to Reuters news agency, the head of one of the hospitals, Mark Uffer, said “It’s actually heartbreaking for the staff and it’s unbelievable what you see. But the parents were unable to immediately provide a logical reason why their children were restrained in that manner, the police said.
What could so far be said about the couple, pending full investigation, is that “according to public records, the couple lived in Texas for many years before moving to California. Mr Turpin has twice been declared bankrupt. At the time of his second bankruptcy he is said to have had a relatively well-paid job as an engineer at aeronautics and defence technology company Northrop Grumman. However, with so many children and his wife not working, records suggest his expenses exceeded his income.”