Couple accused of chaining up 13 children lived in North Texas

A couple arrested in California for shackling their children in their home used to live in North Texas.

Authorities in Southern California were tipped off when a teen escaped from the home. Investigators found the rest of David and Louise Turpin's children, some of them adults, that were being held captive and emaciated.

READ MORE: Parents arrested after 13 children found starving inside home

The Turpins lived in Hill County, Texas until 2010. Former neighbors say they knew something was strange about them.

Public records indicate the Turpins spent most of their married life in North Texas. They lived in Fort Worth, Johnson County and as recently as 2010 in a rural part of Hill County near Rio Vista.

Authorities say David and Louise Turpin still carry Texas driver’s licenses with addresses for a house just south of Rio Vista.

Ricky and Shelli Vinyard live across the gravel road. They always thought something was a little off about the Turpin family.

"Whenever we heard this morning on the news, I was 'Man, sounds like those Turpins,’” Ricky said.

The Vinyards say one of the daughters ran away while the Turpins were living here and was returned home.

Hill County's chief deputy says it may have happened, but his office only has records of two contacts with the family: once in 2001 when a 4-year-old daughter was bitten by a dog and again in 2003 when the Turpins’ pigs ate 55 pounds of a neighbor’s dog food.

The Vinyards say the Turpins suddenly moved out in 2010.

“They left the double-wide trashed. That house trashed,” Shelli said. “We didn't know where they went. And we were worried about the kids.”

Authorities say the Turpins ended up in Perris, California, near Los Angeles. That was where one of their kids escaped the home this week and called 811 for help. Investigators arrived and found the 13 of them starving, emaciated, and some chained or padlocked to beds. They ranged in age between 2 and 29.

Public records indicate David Turpin is an engineer who worked for Lockheed. The Turpins lived in a house in southwest Fort Worth for much of the 1990s and filed for bankruptcy in both Texas and California.

Burleson police report that Louise was a witness in a DWI case, but they had no other contact with the family.

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