The parents who allegedly tortured their 13 children for decades visited Taco Bell nearly every day for meals for themselves but never bought their kids a morsel there, according to a report by the Mirror.
Prosecutors said last week that Louise and David Turpin only fed their brood one meal a day, and police officers arriving on the scene after a 911 call were shocked when the children’s’ real ages were revealed due to their severe malnourishment.
A source told the Mirror this week that while they practically starved their children, the parents visited the fast food Taco Bell chain nearly every single day and often gorged on meals there.
“I saw them literally almost every day,” a staff source told the outlet. “And the other staff said they have been coming here for years. Everybody knows them.”
The Turpins ordered various food items but often consumed up to four Mountain Dews and some root beer between the two of them.
The parents rarely brought any of their children with them to Taco Bell and even when they did they never allowed them to eat.
Last week, District Attorney Mike Hestrin said that the Turpins would typically buy food for themselves but not their kids.
“They would buy pies—apple pies, pumpkin pies—put them on the table and let the children look at them, but not eat the food,” he said of the parents, who are also accused of chaining their children to beds for months at a time and only letting them shower twice a year.
Hestrin said during the first court appearance that Louise and David Turpin began to abuse their children in the 1990s when they lived in Texas before becoming more intense as the years wore on.
“The abuse and severe neglect intensified over time and intensified as they moved to California,” Hestrin said, KTLA5 reported. “It was what started out as neglect – became severe, pervasive, prolonged child abuse.”
The emerging pattern of Louise and David eating well while their children went without food was confirmed by Matthew Alex Padilla, a 20-year-old who served pizza from Leonardi’s Pizza inside the WinCo supermarket in Perris to Louise.
“Louise was in here every other day. Sometimes with her husband, and a few times with a little girl, but never more than one,” he told the Telegraph.
“We knew each other, and would chat—she was normal, if maybe a bit reserved. I had no idea she had 13 children, because she’d only ever order a slice of pepperoni, or a chicken club sandwich with no tomato.”