RIVERSIDE COUNTY, Calif. -- (KFOR) -- When Kimberly Milligan moved into her California home in 2015, she was told her grandson might soon have a playmate, since a family of 12 lived across the street.
But Milligan never saw children scampering in the backyard, never heard playful screams.
A few times, Milligan saw a woman across the street with an infant cradled in her arms. She occasionally noticed three other children, who looked like they were 14 years old or younger.
Milligan and her neighbors in the quiet, nondescript suburban Perris neighborhood said they were shocked to learn that David Allen Turpin, 57, and his wife, Louise Anna Turpin, 49, are accused of holding their 13 children captive. Authorities said some of the children were shackled to beds with chains and padlocks.
“I’m devastated. It’s so close to home — literally,” Milligan told CNN Tuesday.
Early Sunday, the Turpins’ 17-year-old daughter climbed out of the house through a window and called 911 from a deactivated cell phone she found in the home, the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department said.
The teenager, who authorities said “appeared to be only 10 years old and slightly emaciated,” told officers her 12 siblings were being held against their will.
Sheriff’s deputies went to the home on Sunday and found the 12 victims who “appeared malnourished and very dirty.” Several children were shackled to their beds “in dark and foul-smelling surroundings,” the sheriff’s department said.
Authorities arrested the couple that day on torture and child endangerment charges. The victims range in age from 2 to 29.
The suspects are being held in the Robert Presley Detention Center, each on $9 million bail, the sheriff’s department said Monday. The couple is scheduled to appear in court on Thursday, according to online records.
One neighbor told CNN affiliate KABC that she saw the parents being arrested early Sunday. The children were taken from the home in their pajamas, she said.
“They were very, very pale-skinned, almost like they’ve never seen the sun,” said the neighbor, who did not wish to be identified.
“And it was mostly girls … kind of small-framed,” the neighbor said.
Jennifer Luna, another neighbor, shook her head in astonishment.
“It’s so sad, so horrible,” Luna told CNN affiliate KCAL/KCBS. “I can’t believe this. I can’t believe this.”