'I needed a job': Jordan Turpin REVEALS she walked into Taco Bell in 'middle of the night' to look for work
The 21-year-old recalled staying at her siblings' homes and often going hungry, until one day she walked into a Taco Bell and asked for a job
Jordan Turpin has opened up about her life after she helped rescue herself and her 12 siblings from horrific abuse at their parents' Perris, California home that was later dubbed the "House of Horrors".
In 2018, David and Louise Turpin were arrested and pleaded guilty to 14 felony counts before they were sentenced to life in prison. Jordan, along with five of her siblings, recently filed lawsuits against Riverside County as well as a private foster care agency for the alleged abuse they endured at the foster home after escaping their parents' residence.
"I was very traumatized. It's been a very scary journey," Jordan told People in a recent interview. The Turpin children allege in their complaints that their first foster family had a prior history of abusing children. Furthermore, they also accused the organizations of being aware of the criminal history but failing to act despite the children's multiple calls for help. Their foster parents Marcelino and Rosa Olguin have since been arrested along with their adult daughter Lennys Olguin and charged with multiple counts of child abuse.
Jordan told the magazine that she was placed in another home after leaving her first foster home but was kicked out while visiting her sister. She later discovered court documents erroneously claiming she was in college and staying in her own apartment. She recalled staying at her siblings' homes and often going hungry, until one day, she walked into a Taco Bell and asked for a job. "Me and my siblings always used to sing a Taco Bell theme song we made up [when we were trapped]," she said. "It's just always been special to us."
"I didn't know what to say on the spot, but I just knew I deeply needed a job," Jordan said of her desperation when she walked into the fast food restaurant. The establishment offered her the late shift, "and there were times I had to walk an hour in the middle of the night to work so I could afford food," she added, saying she was never taught how to take the bus. "It was really scary."
Jordan was enrolled in college at the time, but she was barely sleeping as she was constantly haunted by her experiences in foster care. "Every time my eyes would close, I dreamed about being [in my foster home]," she told People. "I had to go to the emergency room a lot. I was really, really broken."
It was around that time that Jordan and her older sister Jennifer were approached by ABC News to share their harrowing ordeal with the world. Jordan initially turned down the interview. "I wasn't doing well," she said, adding "But I felt we weren't the only ones being treated wrong in the system and I wanted to help my siblings." The embattled survivor finally experienced change after the ABC special aired. "The people that really know they messed up were just gone," she said. "Some quit and said, 'I don't work here anymore."
Jordan moved into her own apartment in February 2022 and is finally looking forward to the future as she continues to heal. She told People that her greatest hope was to inspire any of her viewers who may be struggling. "I really want to spread awareness about mental health and how we can make things better. People need somebody to speak up, and I think I can do that," she told the magazine. "Something that gets me through some really tough times is knowing that I can make a difference one day. I really want to help others and I'm going to stay strong. There's a lot that I want to do," she added.