Despite being supervised by the Riverside County Public Guardian, the highly sheltered Turpin children who were rescued from their parents in their Paris home in 2018 from years of deprivation and torture, have few life skills or regards to their safety in society. Two of the victims and district attorney’s office officials told ABC’s “20/20.”
13 children aged 2 to 29 at the time were dragged out of their Muir Woods Road home by the sheriff’s deputy on January 14, 2018, when 17-year-old Jordan slipped through a window and used his brother’s cell phone. was doing. 911. Children were severely malnourished and their physical and mental development was stunted.
The parents, David and Lewis, eventually pleaded guilty to 14 felony counts and were sentenced to 25 years in state prison.
Seven adult siblings were placed in guardianship, and the children were placed in foster homes. Still, some people went hungry, had difficulty finding housing, and even attacks, he told ABC’s Diane Sawyer in an interview for a show that aired Friday, November 19.
Requests for funds containing hundreds of thousands of dollars donated from the trust were sometimes denied. The children told Sawyer that the Public Guardian staff caring for Turpins would not help with requests for information about how to use public transportation, how to cross the street safely or how to get medical benefits.
“I really have no way of getting food right now,” Jordan said in a July interview.
Wade Walswick, the chief district attorney’s investigator on the case, was emotional when he spoke with Sawyer.
“They all lacked a sixth sense of fear. They had none of it, and they were put in a very unsafe violent inner-city area in the world,” Walswick told Rare by a county agency of another. Said in criticism.
Melissa Donaldson, the DA’s director of victim services, also shed tears as she spoke to Sawyer.
“Did we see that children sometimes do not have a safe place to stay or live? Yes. Did they have enough food on time? He didn’t. They had to go to churches and eat because they didn’t know how to manage money,” Donaldson said. That said, some kids have had to “couch surf.”
Without identifying where some of the children were kept, she said, “I will tell you I would never have put anyone there under my care.”
District Attorney Mike Hestrin’s spirit was furious.
“If we can’t take care of Turpin victims, how do we have a chance for anyone?” he said.
Hestrin also said: “We need to shed light on this. The public deserves to know what their government did and didn’t do.
It was unclear, however, when Hestrin and Donaldson learned of Turpin’s plight and to whom and when they expressed their concern. Hestrin declined to be interviewed on Friday.
It was also unclear, a day after the county announced it was investigating Turpins’ complaints, what if anything was being done immediately to help Turpins. The Public Guardian’s office did not return a message Friday seeking comment.
Sawyer personally interviewed Jordan and the eldest girl, Jennifer, now 33. He elaborated on many aspects of his imprisonment that had been mentioned earlier.
Even though their parents sometimes left them alone, they did not try to run away because they feared that they would be harmed if caught.
Jordan began contemplating running away when he watched television shows that depicted people hanging out with friends and having normal relationships with their parents, predicting a better experience than waiting outside. Had been. He chose to run away that particular night, he said, because he overheard his mother saying that the family was moving to Oklahoma the next day. He feared that some of his brothers and sisters would not survive the trip.
Jennifer created a rough map of the neighborhood for Jordan, who had learned to call 911 from watching the TV show “Police.”
“It was now or never,” she told Sawyer. “At least if something happened to me, I would have died trying.”
Both Jordan and Jennifer said they didn’t know why their parents took them prisoner. Jennifer said she believed her mother was mentally ill. As for her father, Jennifer said, “I always knew him as a monster.”
Still, the sisters were optimistic. Jennifer said she wants to be a Christian pop music artist and hopes to write a book and become a motivational speaker.
And, Jordan said, she wants a family.
“I want to give my kids the best life ever,” she said.