What Happened To The Turpin Kids After Their House Of Horrors?

It was called a house of horrors for a reason. 13 children aged two to 29 were subjected to brutal violence while being deprived of food, sleep, hygiene, education, and health care. When authorities finally rescued the Turpin siblings from those unspeakable abuses in their family home in Perris, California on January 14, 2018, they learned of the depths of what amounted to imprisonment and torture at the hands of parents, David and Louise Turpin. "Sometimes in this business we're faced with looking at human depravity," Riverside County District Attorney Mike Hestrin said at a press conference just days later (via CNN). "And that's what we're looking at."

The abuse lasted for at least eight years in three homes in two different states and reportedly increased in intensity over time. With the exception of the toddler, all of the children were chained to their beds for weeks — sometimes months — at a time. For many of those periods, they weren't even released to use the bathroom according to police, who found evidence of waste where the children were shackled, per NPR. The Turpin siblings were so severely malnourished that some of the preteen children had limbs the circumference of an infant. The 29-year-old daughter weighed just 82 pounds. As a direct result of the depths and duration of the abuse, several of the children suffered cognitive impairment and neuropathy. It only came to an end because one teenage daughter, 17-year-old Jordan Turpin, escaped and called 911 on an old cell phone.

Getting the Turpins proper care

Once the Turpin siblings were rescued, they were hospitalized for months with specialized care. Per ABC News, during that period, they had a series of physical, psychiatric, cognitive and medical evaluations. Because of years of malnutrition from borderline starvation, the hospital had to be careful when they reintroduced healthy food to Turpin siblings fearing their bodies would reject it. The five adult children, who ranged in age between 18 and 29, were kept together in the same hospital unit. "You can tell they are a family and you can tell they really care about each other," Mark Uffer, CEO of Corona Regional Medical Center, told People. "They sort of just cope. This is the cards they were dealt and they have just coped with it."

As for David and Louise Turpin, they spent about six months in and out of the courtroom, eventually pleading guilty to 14 counts of torture, dependent adult abuse, child endangerment, and false imprisonment. During their sentencing, both cried as some of their children addressed the courtroom. "My parents took my whole life from me, now I'm taking my life back," one of the couple's daughters said, per NBC News. "Life may have been bad, but it made me strong. I saw my dad change my mom, they almost changed me." For their crimes, the Turpins are serving a life sentence, with eligibility for parole after 25 years. But with the couple serving their sentences, what happened to the Turpin children?

Jennifer Turpin readjusts

A year after their rescue, Jennifer Turpin, the oldest of the siblings, was still getting used to a completely different life. She was learning how to make her own decisions, as well as some basic life skills. "They came from a situation that seemed normal to them. And now they're in a new normal," said Jack Osborn, one of the Turpin siblings' attorneys, per Today. "And so I think they may spend a long time processing the two."

In 2021, Jennifer and her sister Jordan spoke publicly about what they went through for the first time in an interview with ABC's Diane Sawyer. Jennifer detailed how she went from a somewhat normal school kid in first grade to living in a home covered in mold and filled with trash. It was a condition that got so bad that other kids wouldn't talk to her. "They called me skinny bones and acted like they didn't want to be around me," she said (via ABC). "I probably smelled. But I didn't realize at the time I smelled, but that stench clings to you... because we would literally live in houses piled with trash."

In the interview, Jennifer said she was currently working at a local restaurant and writing Christian pop music. Somehow, Jennifer also managed to find a sense of gratitude. "I'm so thankful just to walk... [to] take an hour-long walk with my music," Jennifer said. "These little things I think... are things that people take for granted."

Jordan Turpin makes a public splash

Since the sisters had their interview with ABC in 2021, Jordan Turpin has continued to share more of her life on social media. She's become something of an influencer with nearly one million followers on TikTok, where she frequently posts videos of herself dancing and lip synching to trending songs — sometimes with other famous TikTok personalities like Loren Gray and Charli D'Amelio.

In 2022, Jordan Turpin also signed a contract with a major modeling agency and another with the top Hollywood publicity firm, Sunshine Sachs Morgan & Lylis, as well as the talent company WME, per Yahoo! News. However, for all the new notoriety, Jordan said she still faces serious challenges. "My normal day? I usually, um, cry," Turpin said during an interview for a 2023 Elle story. "Then I try to get myself to eat. And then I start to do my makeup, but I cry, so I have to do it over. And then I try to do a TikTok, but I'm like, 'Oh, people are going to say this and that about me.'"

Some reminders of the past are physical. During a pilates class, she realized she had difficulty lying on her back due to injuries she suffered to her spine and muscles. "We all know how bad [the house] was, but we realize now how much they took from us," she told Elle. "If I had eaten more, I'd probably be taller. And I'd be more healthy."

Younger Turpin siblings are abused again

Because most of the Turpin children were (and some still are) minors, we know few details about them — except for one unfathomable chapter. After suffering years of abuse from their own biological parents, six of the 13 Turpin siblings were placed in a California foster home where they suffered even more abuse by adults who were meant to ensure their well-being. Per CNN, in July 2022 independent investigators found several instances of physical and sexual abuse, as well as what amounted to psychological torment. According to the independent report, the children were forced to eat excessive amounts of food and then their own vomit when they couldn't handle the volume. The report also said the children were struck in the face with sandals, had their hair pulled, and whipped with belts.

The alleged psychological abuse included forcing the children to recount the trauma at the hands of their biological parents earlier in their lives. "One of the things that we've learned that this family would force these children to do is relive their past over and over and over again," Elan Zektser, an attorney for the children, said (via CNN). "They would force these kids for hours to relive what they went through." Per NBC, the foster parents and their adult daughter also reportedly told the children they were "worthless" human beings and should end their lives by suicide, even going so far as to instruct them by what methods.

A lawsuit against a broken system

At nearly the same time the independent report was submitted, two separate lawsuits on behalf of the six Turpin siblings were filed against Riverside County Child Protective Services and the foster care agency, ChildNet Youth and Family Services, per CBS News. The suits allege that ChildNet knew the foster parents were emotionally and physically abusive from information provided by previous children in their care, but failed to act on that knowledge. The court filings further state that the Turpin children were placed in that home even against the advice of some of the agency's own workers who were familiar with the people in that foster home. Still, the six children remained there for three years and were ignored when they repeatedly informed the agency of their abuse.

The foster parents, Marcelino Olguin and Rosa Olguin, as well as their adult daughter Lennys Olguin, were all charged with false imprisonment, willful child cruelty, and a range of other abuse charges, according to the New York Post. "It absolutely broke my heart for these kids that after feeling like they were saved, after finally feeling like someone was there for them, they were placed in another house of horrors," Elan Zektser, one of the attorneys for the children, per CNN. "In talking to my clients, they indicate the abuse that happened in this foster home was in some ways worse than the abuse they had endured their whole life."