PRINCETON, W.Va. — A man charged in a California hostage situation where 13 people were found dirty and emaciated grew up in West Virginia.
David Turpin’s parents, James and Betty Turpin, still live in the Princeton area. They told two southern West Virginia media outlets, WVNS-TV and WOAY-TV, they are shaken from the incident and cannot believe the accusations. David grew up in Green Valley, between Bluefield and Princeton.
The family’s attorney, Paige Flanigan, released this statement to the media:
“James and Betty respect and understand the role of the media but would ask the media to respect their family’s privacy at this time as they deal with this difficult situation as their focus is solely on the safety of their son and grandchildren.”
David Turpin, along with his wife Louise, were arrested Monday after a 17 year-old escaped from the home in Perris, Calif. and alerted police.
The Riverside County Sheriff’s Department said in a release they interviewed the juvenile alongside the Perris Police Department. They described her as appearing only 10 years old and emaciated.
Police later arrived at the residence and discovered 13 individuals ranging from 2 to 29 years old. All victims appeared dirty and malnourished.
Several of them were chained to beds with padlocks in dark and foul-smelling rooms, police said. David and Louise Turpin could not give police an explanation.
Child Protective Services and Adult Protective Services are involved in the investigation.