Published: Thu, January 25, 2018
People | By Neil Grant

'Horror house' couple blocked from seeing their children

'Horror house' couple blocked from seeing their children

Prosecutors are seeking a protective order to keep them from contacting their children, all of whom have been removed from the home.

"It protects everyone involved, including my client", attorney Dave Macher, who represents David Turpin, said of the order.

The children did not have access to televisions or radios but were able to read and write and expressed themselves in hundreds of journals that were seized from the home, the district attorney said.

Louisa Anna Turpin had been identified as the mother of 13 malnourished children who were chained to beds in a Perris, California home.

The Turpin parents reportedly cannot bar their children from testifying in court, "must not harass, strike, threaten, molest, destroy belongings", or stalk the victims and can have no personal contact with them.

A United States judge has barred the parents of 13 siblings found last week living captive in their home from contacting their children.

The younger children, aged between two and 17 years old, pleaded with authorities to stay as a family - and police have recorded the siblings have a particularly special bond due to their imprisonment.

"This is the worst case of child abuse I have ever seen", Hestrin said.

The Turpins allegedly forced the children to shower only once a year, shackled them and beat them routinely, Riverside County District Attorney Mike Hestrin said at a press conference last week.

The Turpin family home in Perris
The Turpin family home in Perris

A man who said he attended elementary school in Fort Worth, Tex., with one of the Turpins' daughters remembered a frail girl who wore the same dirty purple outfit every day and tied her hair with a Hershey's bar wrapper - the girl "nobody wanted to be caught talking to". However, he believes their escape was serendipitous, as the day one of the Turpin children broke out of the house and called police was the also their grandmother's birthday.

The 29-year-old daughter weighed just 82 pounds when she was rescued, he said.

Over time, the periods in which the siblings were confined grew longer, and they would not be released to use the bathroom, Hestrin said.

David and Louise Turpin, pictured here in court Wednesday, Jan. 24, 2018, have pleaded not guilty to torture and other charges.

"We have had numerous people sending us insane messages that we knew", said Billy Lambert, in an interview with PEOPLE.

Detectives investigating the horrific crimes say the children were denied food, basic hygiene and medical care and were punished for perceived infractions such as washing their hands above the wrist.

Individuals held under such conditions often become so physically and emotionally weak "that they are unable to free themselves, even if an opportunity arises", said Dr Allen Keller, who runs the Bellevue-NYU Center for Survivors of Torture in NY.

That escape was apparently within days of the family moving to Oklahoma, ABC News learned.

Hestrin said, "We're asking the public to reach out if they have any information about the case".

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