Investigators on Wednesday conducted an exhaustive search of the foul-smelling, filthy tract home east of Los Angeles where a California couple are accused of keeping captive and almost starving 13 minor and adult children, police said.
Louise's sister, Teresa Robinette, said she was not in touch with her sibling but had no reason to suspect trouble.
Many victims of abuse suffer from severe depression, anxiety, nightmares and are easily startled in public. She used a deactivated mobile phone to make the emergency call, Riverside County Sheriff's Captain Greg Fellows said at a news conference on Tuesday. "And they had such good relationships".
"You would never see them on visit, you would never see anyone come outside".
The Turpins are being held on $9 million bail each.
The attorneys were asked whether they think the couple can receive a fair trial.
In a series of three Christian self-help books she co-authored, the children's aunt Elizabeth, 41, reveals how her own childhood was also full of abuse.
Members of the media camp out in front of the Perris home of David Allen and Louise Anna Turpin on January 16, 2018. Records show that two dogs found on the property are healthier and look like they had been better fed than all the children.
"I am extremely concerned about the lack of oversight the State of California now has in monitoring private and home schools", said Assemblyman Jose Medina, who represents Perris, the town where the Turpins live.
"We've recovered those journals, hundreds of them".
David Turpin, 56, and Louise Turpin, 49, were charged with multiple counts of torture, child abuse, dependent adult abuse and false imprisonment. Investigators will soon present the case to prosecutors for charges. As one report put it, "The Turpins stood out for never being seen".
Robinette included that Louise left home at 16 to Wednesday Turpin.
Besides suffering severe caloric malnutrition associated with muscle wasting, several have cognitive impairment and "neuropathy, which is nerve damage, as a result of this extreme and prolonged physical abuse", Hestrin said.
Officers raided the house in the small city of Perris, about 70 miles (113 km) east of Los Angeles, on Sunday after the 17-year-old, whose name was not released, called the 911 emergency number on a cellphone.
Turpin's parents told ABC News that the children would memorize long passages of the Bible.
The victims told investigators the parents began tying them up years ago as a punishment, first with ropes, Hestrin said. Another girl who escaped out a window with the teen turned back out of fear.
And though the parents had reportedly registered their home as a private school with the state's Department of Education, the children "lack a basic knowledge of life", Hestrin said. The parents unchained two of them, he alleged.
So how is it possible that 13 children were found, some padlocked to their beds, deprived of food and water, apparent prisoners in a foul-smelling house, in a neighborhood where the homes appear no more than a few feet from one another? Relatives said they were not permitted to see them. The children were home-schooled at their Perris home, which kept them away from the public, other students and teachers. They moved to Perris in 2014.
Those who tried to speak to the children were rebuffed.
"He did things that made me feel uncomfortable", she said on Wednesday. Louise Turpin would accompany him, wait outside the classroom and then take him home, Hestrin said.
Seven of the children are aged over 18, though looked no older than teenagers. Hestrin called the new information "just a snapshot". "They immediately shut down". "We generally thought she was carrying on with the ideal life", she said in a meeting directed in Knoxville, Tennessee. Specialists were anxious about the children going into stun since they are so malnourished.
"Our clients are presumed to be innocent", said attorney David Macher. They are expected to provide powerful evidence against the parents.
The vulnerable girl might have been shamed, beaten or threatened with violence and only after many missed opportunities did she probably work up the courage to act, Perry said.
Of the 13 siblings, the adults are being treated at Corona Regional Medical Center in Corona, and the six children are under care at Riverside University Health System Medical Center in Moreno Valley.
Corona Regional Medical Center CEO, Mark Uffer, said it is hard to think of any of the children as adults due to their condition. "And you could tell that they were cautious, that they don't want to look at people".