PERRIS, California — The grandparents of the 13 children found shackled in filthy conditions inside a California home believed “God called on them” to have so many children, ABC News reported.
David and Louise Turpin are accused of keeping their children — who range in age from 2 to 29 — locked up in their home.
The children were discovered early Sunday morning after a 17-year-old managed to get out of the home and use a cell phone to call 911.
The parents of David Turpin told ABC News that they are “surprised and shocked” at the allegations against their son and daughter-in-law.
James and Betty Turpin live in West Virginia and told ABC News they hadn’t seen their grandchildren in four or five years. They said the last time they saw them they appeared thin, but appeared to be a “happy family.”
The childrens’ grandparents said they were given “very strict homeschooling” that required them to memorize long Bible passages. In some cases, the grandparents said, the children tried to memorize it in its entirety.
David’s parents told ABC News the couple were in the Pentecostal faith, but said they did not have a church in the area.
They also said they knew of no friends that the couple had.
David and Louise Turpin are in jail on a $9 million bond.