Turpin siblings case: 13 children face abuse at the hands of foster parents even after their 2018 rescue
This article contains information about abuse that could be traumatic for some readers. Discretion is advised.
PERRIS, CALIFORNIA: A new report was released on Friday, July 8, in the case of 13 Turpin siblings who endured abuse for years at the hands of their own parents. The report further said that even after they were rescued, the mistreatment and negligence continued in their lives and all because of the “failed” social services system.
The report, which is more than 600-page and compiled by a law firm appointed to analyze the County of Riverside's care of the siblings, claimed that a few of the younger Turpin children faced abuse when they were sent to live with foster parents. However, eventually, the foster parents were charged. The older siblings’ life also did not become easy after the rescue as they faced a time when “housing instability and food insecurity” pestered them.
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In 2018, Turpin siblings’ case first came to light when one of them named Jordan Turpin, who was 17 at the time, fled their family home in California’s Perris and went to the authorities. She had told law enforcement at the time that she along with her siblings — aged between two to 29 — had been abused by their own parents — David and Louise Turpin. She had also claimed that the couple kept all of them away from the outside world and often beat them. They did not give them food as well.
In 2019, David and Louise Turpin were finally found guilty of 14 felony counts, which included cruelty to an adult dependent, child cruelty, torture, and false imprisonment. The pair was then awarded life in prison. Before their sentencing, one of their daughters — named Jane Doe No. 4 — reportedly told the court that her parents took “my whole life away from me, but now I am taking it back.”
On police body camera video, Jordan Turpin is heard describing the horrors in her parents' house. Jordan said she was nervous police might not believe her, so she took photos of her sisters shackled.— ABC News (@ABC) November 20, 2021
NOW STREAMING ON @HULU: https://t.co/hAEB9WMeW4 pic.twitter.com/udwMY9ebxm
She added: “I believe everything happens for a reason. I fought to become the person I am. I saw my dad change my mom. They almost changed me but I realized what was happening and I immediately did what I could to not become like them. I am a fighter. I am strong and I am shooting through life like a rocket.”
A 2021 ABC '20/20' special also showed the troublesome lives of Turpin siblings after they were freed from the clutches of their abusive parents. In the special, Riverside County District Attorney Mike Hestrin had said, “The public deserves to know what their government did and didn't do, and how we failed these victims. [It's] unimaginable to me that we could have the very worst case of child abuse that I've ever seen, maybe one of the worst in California history, and that we would then not be able to get it together to give them basic needs, basic necessities.”
The television show claimed that some Turpin siblings went on to live in a foster home, where they “were allegedly abused over an extended period. In another home, a foster parent allegedly told one of the Turpin girls that she understands why her parents chained her up,” as reported by PEOPLE. The report also noted that “older siblings were allegedly sent out into high-violence neighborhoods with little-to-no life skills training and denied basic care from their public guardian.”
Then last year in October, Riverside County Executive Officer Jeffrey Van Wagenen retained the law firm chaired by former US District Judge Stephen Larson to supervise the care the siblings were getting. The new report was made after examining nearly 30,000 pages of records and interviews of over 100 people over an eight-month period. The report declared: “With respect to the Turpin siblings, we conclude there were many times over the last four years that they received the care they needed from the County. This was not always the case, however, and all too often the social services system failed them.”
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It stated: “Some of the Turpin siblings found it too difficult to access the funds intended for their use. Many were caught in the middle of confusing and complicated legal proceedings. When they complained about their circumstances, they often felt frustrated, unheard, and stifled by the system,” while Riverside County added that it "is committed to finding innovative solutions and implementing recommendations."