A new report finds that the California “House of Horrors” siblings who were abused and imprisoned by their parents were later failed by social services agencies and government officials, according to ABC News
The 630-page report found that some of the rescued children were placed with other abusive caregivers, while authorities also failed to distribute money raised for the siblings, causing some to go hungry and without shelter.
In January 2018, police in Riverside, California, rescued the 13 siblings, ranging in age from 2 to 29, after 17-year-old Jordan Turpin escaped at night and called 911, as CrimeOnline previously reported.
Parents David and Louise Turpin pleaded guilty to 14 charges related to the abuse and were sentenced to life in prison.
Riverside County commissioned the report from outside investigators after ABC News aired a special last year in which two of the siblings spoke about their experiences with Diane Sawyer.
“With respect to the Turpin siblings, we conclude there were many times over the last four years that they received the care they needed from the County,” the report reads. “This was not always the case, however, and all too often the social services system failed them.”
The report continues: “In short, while there are many examples of dedicated Riverside County personnel succeeding despite the systemic obstacles in their way, there are too many other examples of falling short or even failing outright.”
Substantial parts of the report were blacked out for privacy reasons, according to the San Gabriel Valley Tribune.
But the information that was disclosed shows that a significant portion of the money raised for the Turpin siblings had not been spent, which “may have resulted in food and housing insecurity for at least some of the Turpin siblings,” the report reads, according to ABC News.
Accounting for the funds was also reported years past when they were due. None of the money was misspent, according to the investigation.
Authorities also failed to distribute nearly $1 million in money raised by a foundation for the siblings “until recently,” investigators found.
The report also found that some of the most vulnerable siblings were placed in homes with abusive caregivers.
“Some of the younger Turpin children were placed with caregivers who were later charged with child abuse,” the report states, according to KABC-TV. “Some of the older siblings experienced periods of housing instability and food insecurity as they transitioned to independence.”
The siblings were also “caught in the middle of confusing and complicated legal proceedings” and when they complained about the situation, “they often felt frustrated, unheard, and stifled by the system,” the report states.
The report found that various social services systems were hampered by “inadequate compensation, overwhelming caseloads, and insufficient support.”
Infighting among different offices and by officials also “prolonged acrimony and may have interfered with the development of trusting and confidential attorney-client relationships, especially given the Turpins’ vulnerability and lack of experience with the legal system,” the report reads.
The report will be presented Tuesday to the Riverside County Board of Supervisors, according to KTLA-TV.
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[Featured Photo: Turpin children with the birth parents/Facebook]