Siblings Who Were Held Captive In California See Freedom For First Time

“The adult siblings want to be known as survivors, not victims."

Seven of the 13 siblings who were found being held captive in a Perris, California home are getting their first taste of freedom. 

The seven eldest Turpin siblings, who were previously held in what authorities described as a lifetime of captivity by their parents, were quietly taken from the Corona Regional Medical Center to a rural home last week. They had been under medical care since one of the thirteen siblings, a 17-year-old girl, managed to escape their home and alert authorities that their parents were keeping them chained in their California home. 


"The adult siblings want to be known as survivors, not victims," Jack Osborn, the attorney for the siblings, told ABC News in an exclusive interview. 

The recently liberated siblings range in ages from 18 to 29 years old and were described as near starvation when authorities found them. Now, though, they're doing more than just rebuilding their bodies; the siblings are also learning how to function in a new world. Some of the children, according to The Washington Post, didn't even know what a police officer was. Osborn says they have been eating fresh food they were rarely allowed to have while in captivity and are now making their own Mexican food. They're also enjoying the beauty of junk food by experimenting with their own ice cream sundaes. 

The eldest victim, a 29-year-old woman, weighed just 82 pounds when she was discovered. Despite all the suffering, Osborn told ABC News they are still considerate young adults.

"They're joyful, warm, considerate. It's not all about them. They want to hear what's going on with you and me and my family," he said. "It's just really fun. It's fun to be around them. Of course, they're really full of joy about their life and the things they get to experience right now." 

District Attorney Mike Hestrin described the harrowing details of the Turpin children's' alleged torture, including that they were only permitted to bathe once a year. He also said the 17-year-old who bravely escaped the home's front window called 911 and then showed police pictures of her siblings in shackles. 

Now free, the eldest siblings are devouring classic movies like Star Wars, and are sleeping in their own beds and experiencing privacy for first time in their lives. Osborn said they are totally unaware of how well-known their story is, and sources who spent time with the siblings and spoke to ABC News said they are "naïve" and have a "complete lack of guile" but in a way that's very charming.

"They want to do things for themselves and they want to start having independent lives where they're responsible for themselves," he added. "That's the goal and that's what everyone is working toward."

Correction: This story previously suggested that the Turpin siblings were held in a basement. It has been adjusted to reflect that they were kept captive in their home.


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