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California family projected happy, wholesome image on social media

The Turpin family, on social media at least, is just like the rest of us -- posting the best pictures showing everyon...

Posted: Jan 16, 2018 1:00 PM
Updated: Jan 16, 2018 1:00 PM

The Turpin family, on social media at least, is just like the rest of us -- posting the best pictures showing everyone smiling and having a great time during family trips and other special occasions.

But the photos posted on Facebook obviously don't tell the full story of what authorities say was going on in the Turpin family household.

Children chained to beds. Filthy conditions. Adults so malnourished they looked like kids.

The disconnect between the cheerful photos and the ghastly reality is a gap investigators will try to fill in after the parents, David Allen Turpin and Louise Anna Turpin, were arrested over the weekend, accused of abusing and holding their 13 children against their will in a California home.

Saying 'I do' -- again and again

Lots of folks get married or renew their vows in Las Vegas, but the quickie wedding chapels on the Strip rarely see this: vow renewals with the happy couple's 13 kids in tow; the boys in identical suits and the girls in matching outfits.

The Turpins renewed their marriage vows at the Elvis Chapel in Las Vegas in 2011. They came back in 2013 and 2015 with the kids.

In one ceremony, the girls, wearing the same purple plaid dresses and white shoes, lead the processional, and the boys, wearing dark suits, stand with their father.

An emotional David Turpin can be seen repeating his vows in the video. The children laugh along with the Elvis impersonator, and the couple kisses as their daughters clap.

13 'Things'

In another photo, shared on the couple's Facebook account, the family sports matching "Thing 1" and "Thing 2" shirts -- just like the characters in Dr. Seuss' book "The Cat in the Hat." But each shirt is numbered for every sibling, so there's Thing 3, Thing 4, Thing 5 and so on, all the way to Thing 13.

The red shirts stand out against the blue sky in the background. Once again, it's smiles all around. The boys have bowl cuts. The girls' locks are long and flowing.

Betty Turpin, David Turpin's mother, said the family often dressed alike when they went out for "protective reasons."

The baby

A photo from 2015 shows the Turpins with an infant.

Louise Turpin looks delighted holding the child, while her husband stands next to her beaming against a sea green background.

On their Facebook page the couple also shared photos of the family's trips to Disneyland. The Turpins had yearly passes to the amusement park.

A shocking scene

The 13 siblings in the family ranged in age from 2 to 29.

On Sunday, a 17-year-old girl managed to escape from the family's home in Perris, California, and called 911 from a cell phone she found in the house, police said. She claimed her 12 brothers and sisters were being held captive inside the home by her parents, the Riverside County Sheriff's Department said.

When police arrived, they found a sickening scene: Children shackled to their filthy beds with chains and padlocks. All of them were malnourished, and seven of the older siblings, who are in their 20s, didn't look like adults at all.

The adults were being treated at Corona Regional Medical Center in Corona, and the six children were being treated at Riverside University Health System Medical Center in Moreno Valley.

David and Louise Turpin are charged with torture and child endangerment, and scheduled for a court hearing Thursday. Bail for them was set at $9 million each.

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 883746

Reported Deaths: 17055
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Los Angeles2900096912
Riverside646681273
San Bernardino606211028
Orange573731412
San Diego53000857
Kern33497410
Fresno30152430
Sacramento24582471
Santa Clara23458382
Alameda22807433
San Joaquin21196484
Contra Costa18214236
Stanislaus17354393
Tulare17206276
Ventura13930160
Imperial12534335
San Francisco11937133
Monterey1111783
San Mateo10889157
Santa Barbara9641119
Merced9375152
Sonoma9016134
Kings817383
Solano717174
Marin7030127
Madera492073
San Luis Obispo404932
Placer401255
Yolo308656
Butte302651
Santa Cruz272223
Napa189214
Sutter181912
Shasta178629
San Benito140714
El Dorado12904
Yuba127810
Mendocino110421
Tehama7938
Lassen7571
Lake67315
Glenn6423
Nevada5908
Humboldt5589
Colusa5476
Calaveras33317
Amador31316
Tuolumne2554
Inyo21815
Siskiyou1850
Del Norte1751
Mono1752
Mariposa782
Plumas540
Modoc270
Trinity230
Sierra60
Alpine30
Unassigned00
Chico
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Oroville
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Paradise
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Tuesday was another sunny and unseasonably warm to hot day for much of northern California. It was much like Monday, except the wind was stronger, and the wind will be much stronger through much of the next week.
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