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13 Siblings Held Captive Could Shower Once A Year

  • Hestrin described escalating abuse that began years ago with the children being tied with ropes as a form of punishment. After one child allegedly freed him or herself from the ropes, the parents moved on to chains and padlocks, he said.

 

  • More, from ABC News: The parents’ punishments could last weeks or months, said Hestrin, and the chains wouldn’t be removed even to allow for a trip to the bathroom.

 

  • As for the escape, Hestrin said the 17-year-old who broke out—and, based on her size, was initially thought to be 10—had been plotting an escape for at least two years. Another sibling broke out with her, but ended up getting scared and heading back.

  • In advance of their court appearance, NBC News talked to a law enforcement source who provided another grim detail about what allegedly went on in the urine-filled home: The official says the siblings were given a single “rationed” meal a day.

 

  • Some neighbors have said they were unaware children even lived in the home, but others tell ABC News the only times they saw the siblings was when they departed and returned to the house in the family van, which always happened at night. Mike Clifford, a neighbor when they lived at their previous home in Murrieta, California, who works nights, said he would observe the children through the second-floor windows marching in a line, from room to room, for hours. That syncs with what Hestrin said: That the family was generally up all night and went to bed around 4am or 5am.

 

  • The children’s paternal grandparents, who hail from West Virginia, say they last visited the siblings in California six years ago and saw nothing amiss. “They were just like any ordinary family,” said Betty Turpin, who noted how they kids referred to each other as “sweetie.” Adds husband James, per the AP, they “all looked to me well-adjusted. They weren’t skinny or nothing. They were joyous to see us.”

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