California Dolphin: statewide California news

Physical, psychological recovery for Perris children expected to be long-term

The 13 Perris children who authorities say suffered stunted growth because of torture and neglect by their parents likely face a long rehabilitation, both physically and psychologically, an expert suggested.
Sophia Grant, medical director of the child abuse and neglect unit at Riverside University Health System, has not treated the children. But at a Riverside County sheriff’s news conference Tuesday, Jan. 16, she spoke about similar cases.
At the half-hour briefing, where media crowded shoulder-to-shoulder into a conference room at the Perris sheriff’s station, the girl who snuck out of the home and alerted authorities was praised for her bravery.
Also, the CEO of the hospital where the seven adults — initially mistaken for minors because of their malnutrition — are being treated said the patients “feel safe” and are stable.
And a sheriff’s captain promised a “meticulous investigation” but couldn’t provide any new insights into what motivated David Turpin, 57, and Louise Turpin, 49, to treat their children a way that resulted in the couple’s arrest Sunday.
David Allen Turpin, 57, and Louise Anna Turpin, 49, of Perris, were each arrested on suspicion of nine counts of torture and 10 counts of child endangerment. (Photos courtesy of Riverside County Sheriff’s Department)
The parents remained jailed Tuesday with bail set at $9 million each. Unless they post bail, under state law they must be charged by Thursday or freed from jail.
Meanwhile, neighbors on Muir Woods Road in the suburban Riverside County city continued to express shock about the case, which has drawn media interest from such far-flung locales as New Zealand, Australia and the United Kingdom.
Also Tuesday, the Sheriff’s Department cautioned well-meaning people to donate to fundraising websites for the children with caution. Some may be phony.

Related:   GoFundMe working with campaign to help Perris siblings in torture case

Physical, psychological damage
Deputies who discovered the six minors and seven adults Sunday inside the dark, smelly home initially believed that all 13 were minors because they appeared so small. Three were chained and padlocked to furniture, authorities said.
Grant indicated that in cases like this, such poor health would not have occurred in a short time.
Stunting of growth, in general, would have been caused by malnourishment over “a prolonged period,” Grant said.
The recovery will be gradual, she said.
“You can imagine the post-traumatic stress disorder if you’ve been deprived of nutrition, if you’ve been deprived of normal childhood activities, normal interactions and the people who should have been providing for you have failed to do so — that is going to cause some psychological damage,” Grant said.
“Children who have been malnourished over a prolonged period will have growth stunting, will have nutritional deficiencies, they can suffer complications if you try to feed them, so it requires close monitoring of them when introducing proper nutrition to these kids. … The psychological support is going to be ongoing and longterm.”
The adults – five women and two men — are being treated at Corona Regional Medical Center and are being kept together and guarded by security.
CEO of Corona Regional Medical Center Mark Uffer speaks speaks about the child-abuse case involving 13 captive siblings in a Perris home during a press conference on Tuesday, Jan. 16, 2018, in Perris. (Stan Lim, The Press-Enterprise/SCNG)
Hospital CEO Mark Uffer said he could not describe their conditions other than “stable” because of privacy laws. He described them as friendly and cooperative.
“I think they feel safe,” he said. “I believe they are hopeful that life will get better for them.”
Uffer said he had never seen a case like this.
“It’s hard to think of them as adults when you first see them. They’re small and it’s very clear that they’re (malnourished). … The way my staff has responded, I think they were horrified. I think they are very focused on improving the quality of their existence.”
The minors are being treated at Riverside University Health System Medical Center in Moreno Valley.
What’s next?
Susan von Zabern, director of the Riverside County Department of Public Social Services, said the county plans to go to court to get authorization to oversee and care for the children.
Director of Department of Public Social Services Susan von Zabern speaks about the child-abuse case involving 13 captive siblings in a Perris home during a press conference on Tuesday, Jan. 16, 2018, in Perris. (Stan Lim, The Press-Enterprise/SCNG)
The minors could be placed with relatives after background checks, she said at the news conference. The adults’ needs will be assessed and they will be offered services.
Child Protective Services had never visited the home, von Zabern said.
She urged people to report suspicions of abuse and neglect.
The Riverside County Sheriff’s Department also had not previously been called to the Turpins’ home, said Capt. Greg Fellows, the commander of the Perris station.
Investigators plan to dig into their background and want to know when the alleged mistreatment of their children began and what the motive was.
“We’re going to conduct a meticulous investigation and we’re going to get answers to all these questions,” Fellows said at the news conference.
Capt. Greg Fellows, Riverside County Sheriff’s Department Perris Station commander, answers questions regarding the case involving 13 captive siblings in a Perris home on Tuesday, Jan. 16, 2018, in Perris. (Stan Lim, The Press-Enterprise/SCNG)
He added that sheriff’s officials believe that the couple are the biological parents of all 13 children.
The Turpins have lived in Perris since about 2014, Fellows said. Before that, they lived in Murrieta, and before that in Texas.
Media in Texas have reported that the Turpins lived in Tarrant and Johnson counties. There were no records of criminal cases involving the Turpins in those counties. CPS officials in Texas had no contact with the Turpins, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported .
James and Betty Turpin of West Virginia  told ABC News that their son David and his wife had so many children because “God called on them.” In a brief statement to the Southern California News Group, they said they knew nothing about any mistreatment.
Girl’s courage praised
The secrets being kept inside the four-bedroom, three-bathroom, 2,388-square-foot home were revealed Sunday when a 17-year-old girl escaped through a window carrying a cellphone she snatched. Fellows described it as “deactivated,” but many phones allow someone to call 911 even when they’re locked or not activated.
When deputies arrived, the girl – who they thought looked about 10 years old – showed them photos that convinced them her 12 siblings were being held captive.
“We do need to acknowledge the courage of the young girl who escaped from that residence to bring attention so they could get the help they so needed,” said Fellows, who said he did not have any additional details on the escape.
Residents look on as media set up on Tuesday, Jan. 16, 2018, outside the home on Muir Woods Road in Perris where authorities say 13 siblings had been held captive.<br />(Stan Lim, The Press-Enterprise/SCNG)
Not far from the station, Muir Woods Road residents were still in disbelief that such a sensational case could unfold in their neighborhood.
“It still feels like a dream, it’s not reality,” Perris resident Ricardo Ross said Tuesday, adding: “I woke up this morning and it’s just devastating. Devastating news.”
Rosemberg Salgado has lived across the street from the Turpins since August 2016.
“You would have never thought in this kind of neighborhood you could find out that there was some people who can do that to kids,” he said. “That is just insane and crazy.”
The Turpins apparently lived largely out of sight. For one, they had been teaching six of their children in a private, in-home, state registered school, Sandcastle Day School, of which David Turpin was listed as principal.
The state Department of Education said in a statement Tuesday that under California law, the agency does not have the authority to monitor or inspect private schools.
State Assemblymember Jose Medina (D-Riverside), in emailed statement Tuesday, called for more oversight of private and home schools.
“I am extremely concerned,” he said.
Staff writers Shane Newell, Craig Shultz, Christopher Haire, Roxana Kopetman and Beatriz E. Valenzuela contributed to this report.
Related Articles

Family members of couple accused of torturing 13 children learned of allegations from reporters

GoFundMe working with campaign to help Perris siblings in torture case

What kind of rehabilitation do the 13 Perris siblings — whom authorities say were abused — face?

Laws call for no oversight of private schools like Perris home where 13 were held captive

Girl called 911 on deactivated cellphone to report 12 siblings held captive in Perris home

Top News

Ain't No God; don't even think about theism

UnFox News: not a propaganda arm of the Republican party