Jordan Turpin is one of the survivors of the infamous "house of horrors" story that made headlines in 2018, and she is opening up about her experience during and after that tragedy. Jordan sat down for an interview with PEOPLE this week in her own apartment. She claimed that she and her siblings continued to suffer abuse in the foster care system even after they were released from their family home.
In 2018, 17-year-old Jordan escaped from her parents' house and went for help, revealing that she and 12 siblings had been imprisoned and abused for their entire lives. Authorities found that David and Louise Turpin had chained their children to furniture, withheld food and enacted other cruelties on them. The offspring ranged in age from 2 to 29, so the minors were put into the foster care system while David and Louise went on trial. Now, Jordan has revealed that foster care was not the saving grace they hoped it would be.
Hope everyone has amazing day!💜♬ original sound – Jordan Turpin
Jordan and five of her siblings filed a lawsuit against Riverside County, California and ChildNet Youth and Family Services last week. They claim that they were placed with a foster care family that had a documented history of abusing children and that the private agency had even received complaints from children before. Foster father Marcelino Olguin was even charged with committing lewd acts on children, but Jordan and her siblings are keeping the specifics of their experience from the public.
"I'm not ready to go into details about what happened to me in that home. I was very traumatized, and it's been a very scary journey," she told reporters. "It was really hard to understand the first situation [with my parents]. Then going into another, that was just really, really hard. You have all these questions and you just don't get the answer."
When Olguin was arrested, Jordan and her siblings were pulled back into the foster care system. She said that things did not get better from there. She said: "They separated me from my younger siblings and basically left me to be homeless." She explained that the agency did place her with a new family, but that the family kicked her out of the house before long. While Jordan was homeless, she said that someone filed documents with the court falsely claiming that she had her own apartment and was enrolled in college.
"[Someone] gave false information to the judge. That's what hurts the most," She said. Meanwhile, she said that the trauma of her childhood continued to compound her woes. She said: "It was impossible to sleep. Every time my eyes would close, I dreamed about being [in my first foster home]. I had to go to the emergency room a lot. I was really, really broken."
Jordan said that she has not had any contact with David and Louise, and she does not plan to. She said: "I still have nightmares. I can't imagine if I ever kept in contact with them. There's no way I would be able to heal." However, she said that she remains close with all 12 of her siblings.
"We have inside jokes and have so much fun together," she said. "After everything that happened, and after escaping, I'm so protective over each one. They always know they have me."
Jordan has gotten her high school diploma and is now interested in attending college as well. She is focused on developing some autonomy and arranging her life to her own preferences for the first time. She talked at length about moving into her first apartment on her own, saying: "Sometimes I walk into my apartment and literally think, 'Is this real?' I'm more independent and can just be myself. This is everything I ever wanted. I've been feeling like my life is about to actually start."
Jordan has developed a huge following on TikTok with about a quarter-million followers. She said that she hopes to write her own memoir and become a motivational speaker. She said: "I want to take what I went through and turn it into something positive. I want people to know they're not alone. There is a way out... The best thing that can happen to me is seeing that I made someone's day. Sometimes I get comments like, 'I can relate to this,' and that makes me so excited. I'm very thankful and blessed that I can be there to help others and make a difference."