GoFundMe accounts set up for Perris victims fake, only 1 source set up for donations

ByRob McMillan and ABC7.com staff via KABC logo
Friday, January 19, 2018
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The Corona Chamber of Commerce and Riverside University Health System are gathering donations to help the 13 people held captive by their parents in Perris.

PERRIS, Calif. (KABC) -- The Corona Chamber of Commerce and Riverside University Health System are gathering donations to help the 13 people held captive by their parents in Perris.

Child Protective Services received thousands of calls from people who want to help the children and adults who were found extremely malnourished and some chained to beds inside a Perris home.

The Riverside University Health Center Foundation set up a fund to accept donations and the chamber of commerce created a page listing clothing sizes and items needed for the victims. You can access the page by clicking here or here.

People who want to make donations are warned that any GoFundMe accounts created for the children were fake, as the health center fund is the only legitimate donation source.

On Monday, 13 victims ranging in age from 2 to 29 were found shackled to their beds amid foul conditions in a home in the 100 block of Muir Woods Road. A 17-year-old girl escaped from the residence that day and called 911 using a cellphone she managed to get from inside the home.

She told authorities she and her other siblings were held captive by their parents. When authorities arrived to help her, they thought the girl was only 10 years old because of how emaciated she looked.

Authorities investigated her claims and arrested her parents, 57-year-old David Allen Turpin and 49-year-old Louise Anna Turpin. At first, Riverside County sheriff's deputies thought they found 12 children inside the home, but discovered that seven of them were adults ranging in age from 18 to 29.

Both parents were arrested on suspicion of torture and child endangerment and are each being held on $9 million bail.

On Wednesday, investigators served search warrants to the home, spending about seven hours combing through evidence, and walked out with several boxes, two safes and pieces of wood that appear to have been part of bed frames.

For neighbors in the area, what is suspected of happening inside the house of horrors became more real as they saw the items being removed.

The family at one point also lived in Fort Worth, Texas, and when the Turpins were foreclosed on, the new owners said they found the carpets soiled, windows broken and boarded up, and scratches on the inside of the doors.

At the time, those owners thought the marks might have been from pets, but now aren't sure.

Shelly Vineyard was a neighbor of the Turpins at another home they lived in in another part of Texas.

"I thought it was a religious compound over there. They were weird and homeschooled the kids and kept them away from everybody and wouldn't say names. I just thought maybe they were a little out there," she said.

Elizabeth Flores lived with her sister Louise Turpin while she was in college in the 1990s. She remembered very odd behavior from David Turpin then.

"If I were to get in the shower, he would come in there while I was in there and watch me, and it was like a joke," she said. "He never touched me or anything."

Flores, who spoke to "Good Morning America" in an emotional interview, said she was shocked to hear about the abuse.

"I thought they were really strict, but I didn't see any type of abuse," she said.

She said the Turpins were always private. She said once her father wanted to fly out to see them, but Louise had an odd response.

"She told him not to come. He got the ticket, he was going to surprise her, and he called her to tell her he was coming, and she told him not to come," Flores said.

In recent years, the Turpins never let the family communicate with the children.

"We begged to see them - the whole family. I've asked for 20 years to be able to Skype them," she said.