PERRIS, Calif. (NBC News) – Authorities in California are praising the bravery of a 17-year-old girl who used a deactivated cell phone to call for help to rescue her 12 brothers and sisters from her own home.
The arrests of the girl’s parents, David and Louise Turpin, on Sunday uncovered filthy conditions inside their house. Their 13 children, aged 2 to 29, were discovered to be malnourished and at least three of them were shackled to furniture in dark rooms.
Neighbors say there were hints the family was odd, but not to the point of concern.
“They never were mean, but the vibe I got was stay in your zone, and we’ll stay in our zone. That’s the vibe I got,” said neighbor Kimberly Milligan.
The couple’s 17-year-old daughter escaped through a window early Sunday and called for help. She was so malnourished, responding officers thought she was 10-years-old.
NBC News spoke exclusively to Louise Turpin’s brother and sister in Tennessee.
“We have really no connection with Louise for a long, long time since we were young,” said Louise’s sister, Teresa Robinette.
Read more: http://nbcnews.to/2DDADgQ