Neighbors of the Perris, California, parents accused of torturing their 13 children are pushing back against claims that they ignored crucial warning signs that could’ve saved them years earlier.
Salynn Simon, who lives across the street from the Turpins’ Perris home, recently told CNN that her daughter would sell Girl Scout cookies to Louise Turpin, who would barely open the door. Simon recalled seeing the children behind Louise jumping up and down because they were excited about getting cookies.
“I just thought they were really private and that maybe they did most of their playing in the backyard,” she said.
Simon also recalled seeing six of the Turpin siblings years earlier at a community Christmas party. There, she remembered telling the oldest son, who was in his 20s, that he looked like a teenager, and that he just nodded.
As CrimeOnline previously reported, Riverside County police arrested David and Louise Turpin last week after their 17-year-old daughter reportedly escaped their Perris home through a window and called police using a deactivated cell phone.
Authorities have accused the parents of withholding food, limiting the children’s use of the bathroom, and allowing them to shower only once a year. Authorities reportedly said the Turpin children, who range in age from 2 to 29, have suffered physical and cognitive impairments due to the years of neglect.
Now, neighbors are telling CNN that they would’ve intervened had they known something sinister was going on.
“So, when people sit there and try to tell you that, you were monsters, they don’t understand the whole situation that was going on here,” neighbor Julie Olah told the network.
Since the story has come to light, resident Sharon Ontiveros said the neighborhood has rallied together to collect 13 duffel bags full of toiletries, blankets, toys, and other necessities. They hope to deliver the goods to the siblings once they’re released from Child Protective Services, according to CNN.
[Feature Photo: David and Louise Turpin/Police Handout]