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Turpin family documentary: Children ‘told to Google it’ when they asked for help after House of Horrors escape


THE Turpin family children have claimed they were told “to Google it” when they asked for help from some guardians after their escape from their parents’ House of Horrors.

The 13 siblings were rescued from their Perris, California home almost four years ago when authorities found the children, who were between 2 to 29, living in their own filth and deprived of food and basic health care. 

Refer to Caption

The 13 Turpin children were rescued from their family home almost four years ago[/caption]

ABC 20/20

Jordan Turpin was the one who escaped from her home and called the police, leading to her and her siblings’ rescue[/caption]

Many hoped that once the siblings escaped their parents, they would be moving onto a brighter future and have stepped up to donate to the family.

Unfortunately, that hasn’t been the case for some of the siblings as they reportedly do not have access to many of the resources and services that were promised to them.

“They have been victimized again by the system,” said Mike Hestrin, the Riverside County district attorney, told Diane Sawyer on a special 20/20 about the family last week. 

Hestrin prosecuted the Turpins’ parents, David and Louise, who are now serving life sentences in different California prisons.

He and his team has remained in contact with the children.

“They are living in squalor,” he said when speaking about the adult children.

“They’re living in crime-ridden neighborhoods. There’s money for their education—they can’t access it.”

Vanessa Espinoza, the former deputy public guardian for the seven adult Turpins’ cases, was responsible for helping the older children with housing, health care, education, and food support.

However, Joshua Turpin says she “wasn’t helpful” at all, telling him to “just go Google it” when he asked for help.

State records show that Espinoza works as a real estate broker on the side. Now, a petition is calling for her license to be revoked in California.

She did not take part in the 20/20 documentary or comment on the claims.

The Turpins’ troubles come down to a combination of awful social programs and structural issues in the human-welfare system, critics say.

Hestrin said it is “unimaginable” that the Turpins have been denied “basic needs.”

Over $600,000 in private donations have been kept from the siblings but court-ordered secrecy has made it so the public isn’t aware of why the siblings aren’t receiving the money. 

Some of the younger siblings were sent to foster homes after their rescue and may have been subjected to child abuse, they have claimed.

Two of the other children have been “couch-surfing” and reportedly another one was assaulted.

“If we can’t care for the Turpin victims,” Hestrin said, “then how do we have a chance to care for anyone?”


The children were living in their own filth and some were chained to their beds or forced to sleep in cages[/caption]

ABC 20/20

Some of the siblings sat down with Diane Sawyer to talk about the abuse at the hands of their parents[/caption]

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