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Brother of ‘Horror House’ Mom: ‘If We Knew, We Would Have Stopped It Ourselves’

Louise Turpin’s half-brother says that his family is receiving lots of accusations that they knew what was going on in the California “Horror House,” but he says that’s not the case.

“We have had numerous people sending us crazy messages that we knew,” said Billy Lambert, in an interview with PEOPLE. “If we knew, we would have stopped it ourselves.”

Lambert is the 30-year-old brother of Louise Turpin, who is accused of torturing her 12 children along with her husband, David Turpin, in their home in Perry, California.

Both of the Turpin parents have been charged with 12 counts of torture, seven counts of abuse of a dependent adult, six counts of child abuse or neglect and 12 counts of false imprisonment for crimes dating back to 2010. In addition, David was charged with one count of lewd act on a child under the age of 14 by force, fear, or duress.

Lambert says that he and his family were just as shocked as the rest of the world to discover what was going on in his older sister’s house.

“It was more than just a shock — it was devastating to us,” he said. “She would tell us the kids are doing great. She was real busy home-schooling. She told us David was making two or three hundred thousand [dollars] a year, so we thought they had this awesome life and always going on trips."

“We didn’t never in a million years think that something like that was actually going on,” he said.

Lambert verified other accounts from Louise’s side of the family, stating that they believed the 49-year-old had cut them off. Calls from Louise were few and far between, he says, and they were never allowed to speak with her children. However, he believes their escape was serendipitous, as the day one of the Turpin children broke out of the house and called police was the also their grandmother’s birthday.

“It was their grandmother’s birthday, but I honestly don’t know if they knew that,” Lambert said. “It is crazy that she got away that day.”

Lambert, described his sister as “outgoing,” and said that 56-year-old David was “always trying to make me laugh.” He told reporters that he last spoke to Louise on Jan. 10, and she spoke about plans to have a 14th child. She reportedly told him that David was looking to buy a school bus to accommodate their thirteen children.

“She had mentioned the Kate Plus 8 show, that it was a cool reality show,” he recalled. “I think deep down that is what she wanted. She said her doctor said it was fine [to have another child]. To me it was strange.”

Lambert echoed his sister Elizabeth, saying that Louise and David simply refused to let them speak to their nieces and nephews. He recalled talking to Louise on the phone, while she claimed she was driving to pick up her oldest son from college. Lambert asked to speak to his nephew, and “she said, ‘Yes, when I go get him I can let him talk to you,’ ” he said.

“She didn’t call me back. If we asked to talk to the kids, she would always make an excuse and blow it off,” he added.

The Turpins have pleaded not guilty to all charges.