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Neighbors describe shock of learning 13 siblings allegedly held captive by parents

(CBS) - A married couple near Los Angeles is accused of holding their 13 children captive in their home and are facing charges of torture and child endangerment. Police say they were tipped off by a teenage daughter after she escaped from her parents, David and Louise Turpin, who are in jail being held on $9 million bail each. 

Their children range in age from 2 to 29 and officials say some of them were found chained to their beds. The parents of the male suspect have expressed shock at the news and reportedly said the family was deeply religious and the parents felt called by God to have so many children. 

Perris is a community of about 75,000 people roughly 60 miles southeast of Los Angeles, reports CBS News' David Begnaud. The houses are well-kept and neighbors tell us they look out for each other -- which is why, for them, what's alleged to have happened behind the walls of one of the houses there is all the more shocking.

"I can't believe this. I can't believe this. It's so sad," said neighbor Jennifer Luna.

People living near the home of the Turpin's say they had no idea what was allegedly happening behind closed doors. Many were even unaware the couple had 13 children living there – seven of them adults over the age of 18.

"The older kids, I thought they were, like, 12, because they looked so malnourished, so pale," Kimberly Milligan said.

They say the children rarely ventured outside but on Sunday morning police say a 17-year-old daughter left, or as authorities say, escaped. 


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