Relatives of the devout Christian parents who chained their children to beds inside a seemingly normal Californian home have begun to speak out as more details emerge of the "torture chamber" conditions inside.
The aunt of the 13 Turpin children said she thought her sister Louise was "odd," but had no idea that she and her husband David Turpin were "torturing our nieces and nephews."
Riverside County Sheriff Captain Greg Fellows said the house where the children were found shackled to furniture and clearly malnourished was in an "horrific" condition.
The house was reportedly dirty and foul-smelling, with all 15 family members sharing four rooms in a house devoid of toys but stuffed full of books and rubbish.
It now appears that the Turpins' former home in Texas may have been used for similar disturbing purposes, as unusual vents were found in the closets of the main bedroom after the family left the house.
Residents of Rio Vista, near Fort Worth, say the vents may have been used to keep oxygen supplied to the children trapped inside.
When the Turpins packed up and left for Perris, California, they left piles of rubbish that seemed to confirm one Californian neighbour's claim that they were serial hoarders.
Louise Turpin's younger sister, McCeary Lee, described the couple as "extremely private people who rarely spoke to any of us" in a Facebook post.
Ms Lee, who lives in Guam, said David and Louise did not attend the funerals of either of Louise's parents, who died within months of each other in 2016.
The post comes in response to allegations that other family members may have known something but kept quiet.
"Please leave the kids and us alone," she writes. "We're reeling from the news just like everyone else and what the kids are going through is unspeakable.
"Additionally, we know just about as much as everyone else does. Asking us questions won't get you many answers."
In the post Ms Lee appears to allude to allegations of incest and obvious neglect in the lead-up to the shocking discovery.
US media reports say Louise Turpins' parents had tried to visit her over the years but that she had refused to provide them with an address.
Some neighbours have said they were unaware there were even children living in the house.
The appalling conditions were exposed when one of the children escaped and alerted police to what was going on.
When police arrived they found children ranging in age from two to 29 chained and padlocked to beds and furniture in a house that has since been described as a "house of horrors" and a "torture chamber."
David and Louise Turpin are set for an initial court appearance on Thursday. They have been jailed on suspicion of child endangerment and torture.
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