The parents who were arrested after their children were found imprisoned inside their California home were planning to leave town and had said goodbye to their friends just hours before their arrests, according to a new report.
Louise Turpin, 49, and David Turpin, 57, were arrested in Perris on Sunday after police responded to a 911 call from one of their children who had escaped from the home, about 70 miles east of Los Angeles.
Officers found inside 13 siblings, all malnourished; some shackled; all dirty from only being allowed two showers a year.
The siblings, ranging in age from two to 29, had been held in the so-called “house of horrors” since the family moved to the area in 2010, officers believe.
Less than 12 hours before their arrest on Sunday, the parents apparently told friends they were getting ready to leave town.
“I saw them about 7 or 8 p.m. on Saturday. They said they needed to say ‘goodbye’ because they were getting ready to leave town,” a source told the Daily Mirror.
“They didn’t say where or when they were going. I couldn’t believe it when I saw their pictures on the TV two nights later.”
However, another detail that has emerged shows a potentially different path in play. The Turpins battled debt for years, even declaring bankruptcy in 2011 over unpaid credit card and other debt.
Another source told the Mirror: “It raises the question of whether the Turpins were saying ‘goodbye’ for another city, or whether they were plotting to end their lives entirely.”
The news comes as the Turpins are scheduled to make their first court appearance on Thursday.
They’re facing 10 counts of child endangerment each, as well as nine counts of torture. They’re being held on $9 million bail.
The 13 siblings are all being given intensive medical care, with psychologists scheduled to meet with each soon.