The dad at the centre of the shocking House of Horrors case kidnapped his bride from school when she was just 16 and attempted to elope with her, it has been claimed.
David Turpin drove 1,000 miles with now wife Louise in an ill-fated effort to marry her before being stopped by police, relatives claim.
But after learning of the relationship Louise’s father allowed the wedding to go ahead.
The couple are accused of torturing their 13 children, who prosecutors say were severely malnourished and beaten.
Louise’s siblings, Teresa Robinette and Billy Lambert, told the Daily Mail that their mother Phyliss had allowed the couple to date, despite Turpin being eight years older than her teenage daughter.
Teresa said: "My mom [sic] allowed Louise to date David secretly because she loved him and he was from a Christian family and she trusted Louise.
"But she was doing it behind my dad’s back — he wasn’t aware that they were dating — and then one day, David went into the high school and they let him sign Louise out of school and they ran away."
They made it all the way from California to Texas before they were stopped and forced to return.
But after learning that the couple wanted to tie the knot, Louise’s father reportedly told her: ""This is the life you want, you’re now an adult, I love you and I’ll always be your daddy, but now you can take care of yourself."
Teresa claimed the fallout from the marriage contributed to her parents’ divorce.
In a case which has shocked the world, the Turpins’ children were found shackled to beds and starved by their parents, police have said.
As a result they suffered physical and mental impairments including muscle wasting and stunted growth.
David and Louise both face 94 years to life in prison if convicted on more than two dozen charges including torture, child abuse and false imprisonment.
The children, aged two to 29, were severely malnourished and beaten, and even taunted with apple pies they were forbidden from eating, a prosecutor claims.
The mistreatment allegedly went on for years, leaving several of the children with cognitive impairment and nerve damage from extreme and prolonged physical abuse.
Due to malnourishment the 12-year-old child had the weight of an average seven-year-old,
while the oldest sibling, a 29-year-old woman, weighed just 82lbs.
They lacked "a basic knowledge of life" and were so poorly educated that many of them didn’t know what a police officer or medication were.
David, 57, is also accused of sexually abusing one of his daughters aged under 14 at the home in Perris, California.
He and Louise, 49, have pleaded not guilty to all the charges as they appeared in court for the first time on Thursday.
The children are being cared for at local hospitals, and authorities have said they face a long recovery.
Afterwards Riverside County District Attorney Mike Hestrin outlined the allegations against the pair, detailing shocking physical and mental abuse against the children, seven of whom are adults.
He called it a case of "human depravity" and said the children were denied food and medical care, and were not even allowed to go to the bathroom when they were chained for weeks or months at a time.
They were allowed to shower only once a year and were taunted with food.
Mr Hestrin said: "The parents would apparently buy food for themselves and not allow the children to eat it. They would buy food, including pies, apple pies, pumpkin pies, leave it on the counter, let the children look at it but not eat the food."
He called it one of the most "disturbing" cases he had ever dealt with, adding: "A case like that sticks with you and haunts you. Sometimes in this business you are faced with human depravity, and that’s what we have here."
They had not been to a doctor in at least four years and none had ever visited a dentist.
The children told investigators their parents began tying them up years ago – first with ropes – as punishment, and then began using chains and padlocks after one of the hogtied siblings managed to free themselves.
The prosecutor said the children were punished with beatings and strangulations for things such as washing their hands above their wrists, which their parents saw as "playing with water".
The children were each given a name starting with the letter "J", according to a criminal complaint.
They were allowed to write in journals now being used as evidence, but were not allowed to have toys, with detectives discovering many unopened toys in their original packages.
The family slept during the day and were awake through the night, going to bed before dawn, helping the parents to evade detection, it was claimed.
Police arrested David and Louise at their home in the early hours of Sunday after their emaciated 17-year-old daughter climbed out a window and called 911 on a deactivated mobile phone.
She was so thin that police initially thought she was 10.
A sister who escaped with her turned around and went back to the house because she was scared, Mr Hestrin told reporters.
They had been planning their escape for more than two years, he added.
He said religion did not have a role in the mistreatment of the siblings, and declined to say if the parents have explained why the children were abused in such a way.
The family moved into their large bungalow in Perris in 2014 after moving to nearby Murrieta from Rio Vista, Texas in 2010.
David had registered the house in Perris as a private school and listed himself as the principal, allowing the abuse to go undetected for years as California does not monitor or inspect such schools.
Investigators believe the abuse started when the family lived near Fort Worth, Texas, and intensified after they moved to California.
No complaints had ever been made to Texas’ Department of Family and Protective Services.
David and Louise were remanded in custody, and are being held on $12 million (£8.6 million) bail.
Their youngest child, aged two, was not included in the torture charges because they were not starved, Mr Hestrin said.
Meanwhile, a childhood friend of the three eldest children claims their parents abandoned a kitten in a dumpster "that smelled of death" when they moved out of the home in Rio Vista, Texas.
Ashely Vinyard, 25, told MailOnline that the home was filled with animals and faeces, and she was only allowed to go as far as the kitchen when she was rarely permitted inside.
Ashely claims she didn’t see any signs of food or toys in the home which looked like a "cult house" with religious material that made it seem like the Turpins were "preparing for Armageddon".