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Turpin siblings who escaped a 'house of horrors' experience freedom after years of alleged torture

David and Louise Turpin, appearing at a recent court hearing, are accused of torturing and starving their 13 children. A lawyer said the seven adult siblings have improved physically and emotionally in their recovery at Corona Regional Medical Center in Corona, California. (Gina Ferazzi/Getty Images)

The Turpin children, whose parents allegedly abused, starved, and held them captive in what has been dubbed a "house of horrors" for at least 10 years, are learning what it's like to be free.

Attorney Jack Osborn said the seven adult siblings have improved physically and emotionally in their recovery at Corona Regional Medical Center in Corona, California, where they are developing life skills and dreaming of the future, the Desert Sun reported.

“They’re doing well,” said Osborn, whose Los Angeles-based law firm was appointed by the court to represent them.

The lawyer did not comment on the six younger siblings but said the older brothers and sisters are looking forward to the future and leaving the hospital.

What happened?

On Jan. 14, the 13 Turpin siblings ranging in age from 2 to 29 years old, were rescued after a 17-year-old girl escaped through a window of the family’s Perris, California, home and called 911 using a deactivated phone she found inside the house.

Their parents, David Turpin, 57, and Louise Turpin, 49, were arrested and charged with 82 felony counts, including torture and false imprisonment.

What do the kids like to do?

Osborn said they are spending their days enjoying normal activities, such as watching the popular "Star Wars" and "Harry Potter" film series.

"They immediately identify with characters and our female clients love female characters in movies. They've really embraced those kinds of things," Osborn said. "My impression is a lot of the stuff is new to them."

The siblings are being fed regularly and enjoy eating lasagna, lentil soup, and fish, according to Osborn, but they don't like burritos.

They also enjoy country music and nature books.

“Just giving them an opportunity, for lack of a better term, to chill,” Osborn told Mercury News. “They love to draw, they love to create things, they’re very musical. Both listening to it and learning music to play. And they do a lot of crafts. It’s been really wonderful for them.”

The siblings have also been allowed to use iPads, and spend time outdoors playing basketball and soccer, as well as relaxing in the sun.

"It’s been more like being on a cruise ship than at this hospital," Osborn said.

They don't use Facebook or read stories about themselves in the news, but they are aware of their parents' court case, according to their lawyer.

They've visited with their six younger siblings through teleconference. Social services officials have not disclosed the younger children's current location.

When will they leave the hospital?

It's unclear when the adult siblings will leave the hospital. They caught the flu, which delayed their discharge process last week.

It's also not clear where they will go once they leave, but Osborn said the plan is to keep the siblings together in Riverside County.

“They want to move on. That’s a big goal for them,” Osborn said.

What else?

David and Louise Turpin pleaded not guilty to all counts and remain in jail on $12 million bond each. They're expected to return to court for a status hearing March 23.

One last thing…
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