Newly-released police body camera footage shows the moment cops raided the California house of horrors where an abusive couple imprisoned, beat and starved their 13 children.
The heartbreaking video was shown for the first time on ABC News Friday night, during an episode of 20/20 where two of the siblings, Jennifer and Jordan Turpin, detailed the staggering abuse at the hands of their parents.
Police responded to the Turpin home in Perris, Calif. Jan. 14, 2018, after Jordan, then-17, courageously snuck out and managed to call 911 on her brother’s mostly disabled cellphone.
Officers knocked on the door of the squalid house for more than two minutes before parents David and Louise Turpin answered.
“We were just in bed,” Louise Turpin said, as cops informed her they were there for a welfare check after getting a call from her daughter, the bodycam footage shows.
Once inside, officers encountered mounds of garbage, feces, moldy food, and swarms of dirty, pale and extremely skinny children.
In one filthy bedroom, a cop discovered two frail girls, bruised and caked in dirt.
“Hi sweetheart. Hi girls. Can I see your wrists?,” the officer can be heard saying. “We’re here to help you.”
Inside another room, a boy was seen shackled to a bed where he had been restrained for weeks. Officers scrambled to free him — as they arrested the parents and asked them where to find the key to the chains, the footage showed.
“Is that what this is about?” Louise Turpin was heard asking the cops.
“Well, that’s part of it, definitely,” an officer responded.
The badly abused siblings, ages 2-29, were taken to a hospital where they received food and emotional support. It was the first time Jennifer Turpin felt free.
“In the hospital, music was playing and I got up… and danced,” she remembered.
Her remarks came during a joint interview with younger sister Jordan Turpin, 21, that marked the first time any of the siblings have spoken publicly since they were rescued two hours after Jordan’s 911 call.
Their monstrous parents each pleaded guilty to 14 counts of torture, false imprisonment and related charges in February 2019, and were later sentenced to 25 years to life in prison.
Jennifer Turpin, the eldest of the siblings, recounted during the interview with famed TV journalist Diane Sawyer how she was pulled out of school in the third grade, and enrolled with her siblings in a sham home school that listed their dad as principal.
“They literally used the bible to explain their behavior to us,” Jennifer said, describing how she and her siblings were thrown across rooms, put in cages and beaten with sticks for disobeying their parents or eating their food.
“I was afraid to do one little thing wrong. I did one little thing wrong I was going to be beaten. And not just beaten but beat till I bled,” she said through tears.
The children were forced to sleep during the day and and stay away from the windows at night as to not draw suspicion from their suburban neighbors.
But seeds of Jordan Turpin’s escape were planted in 2014, when she saw a Justin Bieber video on her brother’s phone. She also got glimpses of real life by watching Disney Channel’s “Hannah Montana” and “High School Musical.”
“Those movies where daughters feel like they could talk to their mom. Is that really how it is in real life?,” she recalled wondering — adding that her mother choked her when she caught her watching the forbidden content.
When her parents said the family was moving to Oklahoma, Jordan she knew she had to take action.
“If we went to Oklahoma there was a big chance we would have died.”
After managing to get out of the house, Jordan dialed 911 and recounted the violence routinely inflicted on her and the other kids.
“My parents are abusing,” the frightened girl said, according to a recording of the call played during the hourslong program. “My two little sisters right now are chained up. They’re chained up because they stole mother’s food.”
It was the first time she was ever outside alone or had talked to a stranger.
“This is one of the most scariest things I’ve ever done. I am terrified,” she continued.
“We live in filth, and sometimes I wake up and I can’t breathe because of how dirty the house is. We never take baths.”
When a second dispatcher got on the line, Turpin was unable to provide her family’s address.
“I’ve never been out. I don’t go out much, so I don’t know anything about the streets or anything,” she said.
The emotional young woman recounted her terror to Sawyer.
“My whole body was shaking, when I was on the phone … I couldn’t really dial 911 because, I’m sorry I was shaking. I was trying to dial 911 but I couldn’t even get my thumbs to press the button because I was shaking so much,” she said.
Years later, Jennifer Turpin said she is still scared of her parents.
“I guess I get afraid of them manipulating the system, getting out and somehow finding us.”
“I want to know why. But I’ll never get an answer,” her sister lamented.
Several of the adult Turpin siblings continue to be exposed to dangerous living conditions, and lack basic needs, despite pledges of support and government benefits, the ABC report said.
Despite their unimaginable setbacks, Jennifer and Jordan said they are optimistic about what the future holds for them and their siblings.
“[I want people to see] They’re strong; they’re not weak; they’re not broken; they’ve got this,” Jennifer said.
“Same,” Jordan echoed.