THE 13 malnourished kids kept shackled to their beds in a filthy house were seen scavenging in bins at night by neighbours.
David Allen Turpin, 57, and Louise Anna Turpin, 49, were arrested after the siblings, aged between two and 29, were found shackled at the family home in Perris, California.
And neighbours have now told how they would rarely see the children – with one claiming to have been unaware there were any living at the house.
Andrew Santillan, who lives around the corner, told the Press Enterprise: "I had no idea this was going on. I didn't know there were kids in the house."
Neighbour Andria Valdez said her family had joked the Turpins reminded them of the family of vampires from the Twilight book and film series.
She told the newspaper: “They only came out at night. They were really, really pale.”
Some residents said they saw the kids – who were so malnourished that cops thought the seven adults among them were children – picking up rubbish around their home and digging for food in bins, according to CBS2 News.
A few years ago, Robert Perkins said he and his mother saw a few family members constructing a Nativity scene in the Turpins' front garden and complimented them on it, but "they didn't say a word".
And Wendy Martinez, 41, told reporters she saw four of the 13 siblings in their front garden at night in October looking emaciated and pale.
She said their mother was standing in the doorway but nobody replied to her when she tried to strike up a conversation.
What we know so far:
Cops rescued the children from the house of horrors after one tortured teen managed to escape on Sunday.
The emaciated 17-year-old girl, who was so malnourished officers initially thought was just ten, managed to call police from a mobile phone she had taken from the house, authorities said.
She told the operator that her 12 brothers and sisters were being held captive by her parents and that some were bound with chains and padlocks.
When police arrived at the property, about 70 miles east of Los Angeles, they discovered several children shackled to their beds in "dark and foul-smelling surrounds".
Officers said the parents were unable to immediately provide a logical reason as to why their children were restrained in that manner.
One neighbour quoted by the Mirror said "smirking" mum Louise Turpin "spat twice on the floor" in front of cops when they arrived to raid the house.
The "starving" children were taken to hospital where they were treated while their parents were taken to a police station.
The couple have each now been charged with nine counts of torture and ten counts of child endangerment, police said.
David Turpin's parents, James and Betty Turpin, of West Virginia, told ABC News they are "surprised and shocked" at the allegations.
They said they haven't seen their son or daughter-in-law since visiting them in California four or five years ago.
The couple said they keep in touch regularly by phone but not with their grandchildren, who are home-schooled.
Last night pictures emerged of the pair surrounded by children, who Sun Online have chosen not to identify, enjoying Disneyland and wearing Dr Seuss-style t-shirts numbered from "Thing 1" to "Thing 13".
Other pictures from a Facebook page under the name of David-Louise Turpin appeared to show the couple getting married by an Elvis impersonator in a Las Vegas-style wedding.
In the latest set of photo, uploaded between April and July 2016, Louise Turpin wears a long white wedding gown and her husband is dressed in a suit.
Nine girls, all with long dark hair, wear matching pink dresses with white tights and shoes while a baby girl is dressed in a bright pink flowery and sequined dress.
Three boys, their dark hair in bowl cuts like their dad, are dressed in black suits with red ties.
In another snap from September 2015, Louise Turpin lies on her stomach in the grass and props up the baby, who wears a t-shirt reading: "Mommy loves me."
The Turpins filed for bankruptcy in 2011, stating in court documents they owed between $100,000 and $500,000 (£72,000-362,000), The New York Times reported.
At that time, Turpin worked as an engineer at Northrop Grumman and earned $140,000 annually and his wife was a homemaker, records showed.
Their bankruptcy lawyer, Ivan Trahan, told the Times he never met the children but the couple "spoke about them highly".
Trahan said: "We remember them as a very nice couple."
He added that Louise Turpin told him the family loved Disneyland and visited often.
A statement from the Riverside County Sheriff's Office said: "Deputies located what they believed to be 12 children inside the house, but were shocked to discover that seven of them were actually adults.
"The victims appeared to be malnourished and very dirty."
All 13 victims and their parents were taken to Perris police station and interviewed.
Child Protective Services (CPS) and Adult Protective Services (APS) were called in and the siblings were given food and drink after they claimed to be starving.
The six children were transported to the Riverside University Hospital System (RUHS) for medical examinations and admitted for treatment.
The seven adult children were taken to Corona Regional Medical Centre for an examination and treatment.
Both parents were interviewed and subsequently transported to the Robert Presley Detention Centre (RPDC).
They were booked for violations of California Penal Code Section 206–Torture and Section 273a(A)–Child Endangerment, and bail was set at $9million (£6.5million) each.
Police did not detail the parents' motive for holding the children captive in such conditions, and a police spokesman said he had no further details.
The parents are due in court on Thursday.
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