'Shocked' Grandparents of 13 Siblings Found Shackled Said Kids 'Looked Thin' But Seemed 'Happy'

The grandparents of the 13 children who were allegedly kept shackled to their beds say they are "surprised and shocked" by the charges against the kid's now-arrested parents

The grandparents of the 13 California brothers and sisters who were allegedly abused, malnourished and kept shackled to their beds say they are “surprised and shocked” by the charges against the kid’s now-arrested parents.

David Allen Turpin, 56, and his 49-year-old wife Louise Anna Turpin were booked Monday on suspicion of nine counts of torture and 10 counts of child endangerment after their 17-year-old daughter “escaped” from their home and called 911 on Jan. 14 to report that her 12 siblings were being held captive by their parents — and that some of them were bound with chains and padlocks — according to a Riverside County Sheriff’s Department press release previously obtained by PEOPLE.

Reacting to the news, James and Betty Turpin, David’s parents, told ABC News on Tuesday of their disbelief. They said they spoke to David once or twice a month, though had not visited their son or their grandchildren in four or five years.

The last time they did, James and Betty said the kids — ages 2 to 29 — “looked thin” but seemed like a “happy family.”

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

Both David and Louise, of Perris, California, are being held at the Robert Presley Detention Center on $9 million bail. They have yet to enter a plea, and a hearing has been scheduled for Jan. 18.

Deputies interviewed the parents at their Muir Woods Road home and found “several children shackled to their beds with chains and padlocks in dark and foul-smelling surroundings,” Monday’s release stated.

The parents were “unable to immediately provide a logical reason why their children were restrained in that manner,” according to the release.

Deputies were further “shocked to discover that 7 of them were actually adults, ranging in age from 18 to 29,” as the victims appeared to be malnourished and dirty, the release stated.

Want to keep up with the latest crime coverage? Click here to get breaking crime news, ongoing trial coverage and details of intriguing unsolved cases in the True Crime Newsletter.

The siblings were taken to the Perris Station and interviewed and also provided with food and drink after they told investigators they were “starving.”

The six juveniles were later taken to the Riverside University Hospital System. The seven adult children were transported to Corona Regional Medical Center and admitted for medical treatment. Their conditions aren’t immediately known.

Related Articles