PERRIS (CBSLA) — Neighbors came together Friday night to light candles and say prayers for the 13 children, still recovering in hospitals after being rescued from their Perris home earlier this week. Many are still struggling with how something so horrific could have happened so close to home.
“I’m three doors down, and I didn’t have one clue. very sad, very sad,” Wendy Martinez said.
City and county leaders agree, there didn’t appear to be any warning signs with the Turpin family. But at a community meeting, they talked about child abuse and neglect. What to look out for and what people should do if they suspect something is wrong.
“I was trained in the medical field to look out for child abuse and stuff,” Jan Archibeque said. “We never, there wasn’t anything suspicious, other than that they were antisocial.”
David Turpin, 57, and Louis Ann Turpin, 49, were each charged with 12 counts of torture, seven counts of abuse of a dependent, six counts of child abuse and neglect and 12 counts of child imprisonment. David Turpin also faces one count of lewd acts on a child under the age of 14.
“I think neighbors are going to be more proactive in getting to know their neighbors,” David Rabb, of Perris City Council, said. “They’re going to be looking for the telltale signs that something may be off base.”
Investigators were back at the home Friday gathering evidence around the front window, which appears to have a portion of the screen cut out. They wouldn’t comment on whether that was how one of the children was able to escape the home, and they wouldn’t say if they found anything in one of the family’s cars, which they towed away. Neighbors say they will be following the case, but they say the most important thing moving forward is to become a stronger and more alert community.
Meanwhile, the Riverside District Attorney wants to cut off all communication between the parents and their 13 children who were rescued from captivity in their home. The office is asking for no phone calls, letters or emails from jail. A hearing will be held Monday.