911 Call Played in California House of Horrors Case

David and Louise Turpin are accused of living in abusive isolation with their 13 kids
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jun 20, 2018 7:00 PM CDT
Teen's 911 Call Played in Turpin Case Court Hearing
Louise Turpin, left, talks to her attorney Jeff Moore   (Watchara Phomicinda/The Press-Enterprise via AP)

In a plea to a police dispatcher to "help my sisters," a 17-year-old girl in a childlike, quivering voice detailed years of abuse she and 12 siblings suffered in a house where she said they were shackled to beds, choked and went unbathed so long the stench was suffocating. In the 911 call played in a California court Wednesday during a hearing to determine if her mother and father should face trial on child abuse charges, the girl said two younger sisters and a brother were chained to their beds and she couldn't take it any longer. "They will wake up at night and they will start crying and they wanted me to call somebody," she said in a high-pitched voice. "I wanted to call y'all so y'all can help my sisters." David and Louise Turpin have pleaded not guilty in Riverside County Superior Court to torture, child abuse and other charges. They are being held on $12 million bail each, per the AP.

Louise Turpin dabbed her eyes with a tissue as the recording of her daughter was played. The girl planned her escape for two years and was terrified as she climbed out a window and ran to freedom, Riverside County Sheriff's Deputy Manuel Campos testified. When she called the dispatcher around the corner from her house, the girl wasn't even sure what street she was on. The kids were rarely allowed to go outside, though they did trick-or-treat on Halloween and traveled as a family to Disneyland and Las Vegas. "I don't go out much so I don't know anything about the streets or anything," she said on the call and confirmed she was reading her address off a piece of paper with her mother's name on it. The girl said she hadn't bathed in about a year and that the house was filthy. "Sometimes I wake up and I can't breathe because of how dirty the house is," she said. (The Associated Press has more details of the call.)

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