The current owner of David and Louise Turpin’s Texas home said the family fled to California days after one of their abused daughters escaped and tried to get help.
Speaking with The Mercury News, Nellie Baldwin, 78, a former neighbor who currently owns the 36-acre Hill County property with her son, claimed the family trashed the home so badly that they lived in a trailer for six or seven years. Baldwin said the Texas home was left in filth–including feces-covered walls, rotting floors, and kicked-in doors.
Records indicated that the family arrived in Murrieta, California, in 2010, the same year they allegedly fled Texas. The 78-year-old went on to allege that the Turpins moved to California days after one of the siblings walked down the road and asked a neighbor for help but he took her back home.
“A neighbor came along. She told him to take her to a telephone,” she recalled. “All of a sudden, they just disappeared. No one ever saw them again.”
“They just disappeared. He didn’t make any more payments on that place or anything.”
Though Baldwin believes the girl managed to call 911, the newspaper reported that the Hill County Sheriff’s Office has no record of a child or young adult calling 911 from the property to ask for help. However, Chief Deputy Rick White noted that call records are kept for a year unless they’re connected to a specific case.
As CrimeOnline previously reported, Riverside County police arrested the Turpins last week after their 17-year-old daughter reportedly escaped their Perris, California, 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.
David, 56, and Louise, 49, have pleaded not guilty to a slew of charges, including torture, abuse of a dependent adult, child abuse, and false imprisonment. David is also accused of committing a lewd act on a child under 14 by force or fear.
The couple face 94 years to life in prison if convicted as charged. They are currently jailed on $12 million bail each.
[Feature Photo: David and Louise Turpin/Police Handout]