They've been accused of keeping their 13 children, ages 2 to 29, hostage.
Police made the discovery after a 17-year-old girl escaped the house in Perris, about 70 miles (113 km) east of Los Angeles, and used a cellular phone she had found in the house to call them, the Riverside County Sheriff's Office said on Monday. He also said they were severely malnourished.
David and Louise Turpin were held on charges of torture and child abuse. Andrew Santillan said: 'I didn't know there were kids in the house'. Six of the children are minors, while the other seven are over 18. The teen allegedly told officers that her parents were holding her and her 12 siblings captive-and presented pictures that corroborated her story.
"The victims said as a punishment they would be tied up with ropes but when they were able to escape, their parents began using chains and padlocks", he said. The children were forced to sleep during the day and stay awake at night, and they never saw a dentist and weren't allowed to shower a couple of times a year, he said.
The couple are now facing nine felony counts of torture and ten felony counts of child endangerment each.
As an example, Hestrin noted that one of the children, age 12, is the weight of an average 7-year-old and the oldest victim, a 29-year-old woman, weighs just 82 pounds.
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Inside the home, the new owner said she found something unusual.
California investigators say three of the children rescued Sunday were found chained to furniture.
Hestrin continued: "Several of the victims have cognitive impairment and neuropathy which is nerve damage as a result of this and prolonged physical abuse".
The sheriff and Child Protective Services both said they had no dealings with the family prior to this. They say they're looking through them for evidence.
David's mother, Betty Turpin, told the Southern California News Group on Wednesday, January 17, that she was shocked by what her son and his wife were doing.
"I never knew that there was any kids living in that house".
The California Department of Education lists the Turpin's Perris address, where the family has lived since 2014, as the location of the Sandcastle Day School, and David Turpin as principal.