People Staff
March 07, 2018 06:57 PM

It was a case that made international headlines — and it’s not over.

In January, David and Louise Turpin were arrested in Perris, California, after authorities there said the Turpins’ 13 children had been held captive in the family home and regularly abused and even tortured.

The kids, who ranged in age from 2 to 29 at the time of their parents’ arrest, were found in squalid conditions after one of their siblings escaped and called 911.

The parents were quickly taken into custody, where they remain on $9 million bond as their prosecution proceeds. They have pleaded not guilty to torture, abuse, and false imprisonment charges.

Meanwhile their children have been healing and adjusting to a life outside the home where they were allegedly kept as prisoners.

More information continues to come to light about the Turpins’ lives. David and Louise are also facing an increasing number of criminal charges.

Here are six recent notable developments in the case.

1. Mom Believes She Did ‘Nothing Wrong’ and Is ‘Going to Get Out’ of Jail: Relatives

Speaking to Good Morning Britain on Tuesday, Louise’s sister Elizabeth Flores alleged that she is so disconnected from reality that she thinks she’s “going to get out and we’re going to play board games again,” like the pair did as children.

“We’re searching for answers just like the rest of the world,” Flores, who visited the Turpins in jail in California last week, told hosts Piers Morgan and Susanna Reid. She alleged that Louise is “living in a la-la land.”

The Turpin family
Courtesy Billy Lambert

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On the show, cousin Tricia Andreassen told the hosts, “When we went and saw Louise, we walked out of there and we were like, ‘Oh my gosh, what in the world are we seeing? Is she just totally insane? What in the world?’ ”

2. Relatives Say Father Knew ‘He Had Messed Up’ and Was ‘Sobbing’ in Jail

Asked if the Turpins realize the severity of what they’ve been charged with, Flores told Good Morning Britain, “I don’t think Louise does. I think David is starting to realize.”

“David was broken. He knew that he had messed up and he was broken,” she added.

From left: David and Louise Turpin
Riverside County Sheriff's Department (2)


“We went and saw David and he was just sobbing,” added Andreassen. “He would sob, like his shoulders would shake up and down.”

“I said ‘I don’t know all the things you’ve done,’ and he said, ‘It will come out.’ ”

3. Children Have Become Known Locally as ‘The Magnificent 13’ — and Are Described as ‘Warm and Loving’

Corona, California, mayor Karen Spiegel, who works closely with the nurses caring for the siblings, told PEOPLE that local supporters don’t refer to them as the Turpins because they don’t want to associate them with their parents. Instead, they are called “The Magnificent 13.”

Describing the seven adult children, she said, “They are warm and loving kids, even though they’re adults, we keep calling kids; they just have some growing up to do. They’re just behind but they’ll get through.”

The Turpin family
David-Louis Turpin/Facebook

“They are progressing well, and looking into the future, seeing where their lives could go and they have the support system,” Spiegel adds. “They have the whole community behind them.”

The mere fact that they are able to make decisions for themselves is itself a momentous achievement, Jack Osborn, who is representing the seven adult siblings, told CBS.

“That in itself is a new experience for them, understanding that they do have rights and they do have a voice,” Osborn said.

4. The Older and Younger Siblings Have Connected Over Skype

The older and younger Turpin children are housed in separate facilities, but Osborn said they have connected via Skype.

According to Osborn, they have also been exposed to entertainment and technology they’d been deprived of, reading Harry Potter books and using iPads.

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“That’s a big deal, deciding what they’re going to read, deciding what they’re going to wear, these are all things that are decisions they make every day that are new and empowering,” Osborn said.

5. Cellist Yo-Yo Ma Performed Private Concert for Siblings — Who Are Learning Tom Petty Songs on Guitar

In early March, Grammy-winning cellist Yo-Yo Ma stopped by the Corona Regional Medical Center to perform a private concert for all 13 siblings.

Mark Uffer, chief executive officer of Corona Regional Medical Center, told PEOPLE that several of the siblings expressed an interest in music and picked up the instrument after a donation from Corona-based Fender Guitars in Corona.

The Turpins' Perris, California, home
Sandy Huffaker/Getty

“I have actually gone over and showed them some chords and they loved that,” Uffer said, noting he’s a drummer in a local rock band. “Music is very soothing and a great hobby … it takes you to a quiet, soothing place.

Some of the Turpin siblings can play John Denver and Tom Petty songs on the donated acoustic guitars, according to Uffer. The siblings have even engaged in a sing-along.

6. The Parents Were Charged With Four Additional Felonies

In late February, four new felony charges were filed against the Turpin parents. The new charges include three new child abuse charges against the couple and one felony assault charge against Louise, according to the amended criminal complaint.

“Further investigation has led us to amend the complaint,” said Riverside County District Attorney spokesman John Hall. “It could add more time to the exposure they are facing.”

The prosecution has said the children will testify against their parents at trial.

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