The Riverside County Sheriff's Department said a 17-year-old girl grabbed a cellphone from inside the home in Perris, California and fled Sunday morning. Authorities came and found the 12 others in very bad state.
Police said the victims, six adults and seven children, appeared to be malnourished and very dirty.
All 13 alleged victims are now under police guard in hospital. Their youngest child, aged two, did not have sufficient injuries to warrant the same charges, prosecutors said. When they went out, the couple would line the children up according to age, and the parents took their positions at the front and back of the line.
Authorities say it was one of the 13 abused children who alerted them to what was happening inside the home.
The victims' grandparents said they haven't seen the family for four or five years, but spoke regularly by phone with their son and daughter-in-law.
"They looked very unnutrioned [sic], very white, like they never got sun at all", Wendy Martinez said.
Sheriff's deputies had no prior contact with the Turpins or calls from their house, Fellows said.
The parents, Louise and David Turpin, could not provide a logical reason as to why the children and adults were chained to their beds.
David and Louise Turpin were held on charges of torture and child abuse.
Kent Ripley, the Elvis impersonator, told 8 News NOW Monday night that he didn't notice anything out of the ordinary with the family. The children were allegedly homeschooled, but many didn't know what a police officer was, or what medications or pills were.
David Turpin and Louise Turpin. Its address is also listed in a state Department of Education directory as the location of the Sandcastle Day School, a private K-12 campus that opened in 2011.