It’s a story that captured international attention. On January 14, police discovered 13 malnourished brothers and sisters – aged 2 to 29 – held captive in David and Louise Turpin’s Perris, California, home. According to the Riverside County Sheriff’s department, the victims were “shackled to their beds with chains and padlocks in dark and foul-smelling surroundings.”
Now, the seven oldest siblings are finally experiencing freedom. ABC News reported on Monday, March 19, that the young adults were released from Corona Regional Medical Center on Thursday where they had been receiving treatment for two months.
Their attorney Jack Osborn — who said the siblings want to be known as “survivors and not victims” – revealed to ABC News that they are not dwelling on the past. “They’re joyful, warm, considerate. It’s not all about them,” Osborn noted. “They want to hear what’s going on with you and me and my family. It’s just really fun to be around them. Of course, they’re really full of joy about their life and the things they get to experience now.”
And that includes privacy. “I think the favorite new experience for them is moving into new bedrooms,” Osborne said, adding that they each chose their own bedding. Other firsts: making ice cream sundaes, picking citrus and cooking Mexican food.
While the younger Turpins have been split up in two homes, the older ones are together in an undisclosed rural house, per ABC News.
“They pretty much love any food that is fresh,” Osborn shared. “They love fruit, pasta and soup.”
Though the Turpins continue to receive occupational, physical and psychological therapy, they are also enjoying typical teen stuff – like watching movies. According to Osborn, the Star Wars series ranks high on their list of favorite flicks. Osborn said that they all hope to find love and fulfilling careers too.
“They want to do things for themselves and they want to start having independent lives where they’re responsible for themselves,” Osborn said. “That’s the goal and that’s what everyone is working toward.”
As previously reported, David and Louise have pleaded not guilty to torture and other charges. Officers were alerted to the situation at the Turpins home by one of the victims, a 17-year-old female, who managed to escape using a cell phone found inside the house.
According to Osborn, the older and younger siblings chat on Skype and are hoping to see each other in person soon.