'Horror House' Victims Restricted to One Shower a Year, One Meal a Day

More details are emerging from the case involving the "house of horrors" in Perris, California, where 13 siblings were found shackled to furniture and held captive by their parents, David and Louise Turpin.

In addition to the children — ages 2 to 29 — being malnourished, abused and tortured, authorities say the children were permitted to shower only sparingly.

The Today show reported that a law enforcement official close to the investigation told NBC News that the 13 kids were allowed only one rationed meal per day and one shower per year.

Riverside County District Attorney Mike Hestrin said later Thursday that "none of the victims were allowed to shower more than once a year."

What's more is that the kids were found in their own feces and their bedrooms were said to be "urine-filled."

All 13 kids are receiving IV treatments in the hospital, and officials say they are malnourished to the point where they could go into shock.

Hospital officials say that the kids are so malnourished, that the five legal adult children look "half their age." Ranging between 18 and 29, the five female and two male captives of their parents are malnourished but in good spirits as they receive treatment at the Corona Regional Medical Center.

"That is a sobering experience for all of us, when you see a 29-year-old that looks like they are 12 or 13 or 14," said Mark Uffer, CEO of the facility.

The 13 siblings were rescued after a 17-year-old daughter climbed out a window and alerted police to the conditions that they were subject to, including being shackled to their beds and allegedly abused as well as being forced to march around for hours in the middle of the night, according to former neighbors.

David and Louise Turpin were arrested Monday on charges of suspicion of torture and child endangerment.

The six underage siblings were sent to a different facility as their elder siblings, but Uffer said that the whole of them being underdeveloped is a direct result of year of malnutrition.

"I have been a hospital administrator for a long time and I have been in healthcare since 1973 … I have never seen this," he said. "I can share with you that I have spent a fair amount of time with these kids … we call them kids but they are adults. It is heartbreaking to see this. It really hits home."

The re-introduction to certain foods will occur over time as their dietary restrictions over the extended period of time would make it difficult for the children to keep certain things with them.

Despite the trauma that they all have endured, it is being reported that they are all doing well.

"They are very cognizant of what has occurred" Uffer said. "They are aware of the situation. They are coping with it. I would say they are happy in the environment that they are in right now. They feel that the nurses and the team of medical professionals that are taking care of them actually care about them as people and that we are here to help them — that they are safe and being treated with incredible dignity.

"You can tell they are a family and you can tell they really care about each other," he added. "They sort of just cope. This is the cards they were dealt and they have just coped with it. We all feel very fortunate when you come from a two-parent household who treated you with love and tenderness and made sure you went to school and brushed your teeth and went to bed on time."


The Turpin parents, whose parents and other family members say they had no idea how they were treating their children, are currently scheduled to appear in court on Thursday. They are being held on $9 million bond.

Here is How to Help the California 'Horror House' Victims, if you are interested.