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Turpin family documentary: Children ‘told to Google it’ when they asked for help after House of Horrors escape

AFTER years of suffering trauma and abuse from their parents, some of the Turpin children are still “living in squalor”.

The 13 siblings were rescued from their Perris, California home almost four years ago. Authorities found the children, who were between 2 to 29, living in their own filth and deprived of food and basic health care. 

Many hoped that once the siblings escaped their parents, they would be moving onto a brighter future. Many people have stepped up to donate to the family, hoping to offer some help.

Unfortunately, that hasn’t been the case for some of the siblings as they reportedly do not have access to many of the resources and services that were promised to them.

“They have been victimized again by the system,” said Mike Hestrin, the Riverside County district attorney to Diane Sawyer. 

Hestrin prosecuted the Turpins' parents, David and Louise, who are now serving life sentences in different California prisons. Hestrin and his team have remained in contact with the children.

“They are living in squalor,” he said when speaking about the adult children. “They’re living in crime-ridden neighborhoods. There’s money for their education—they can’t access it.”

Vanessa Espinoza, the former deputy public guardian for the seven adult Turpins’ cases, was responsible for helping the older children with housing, health care, education, and food support.

However, Joshua Turpin says she “wasn’t helpful” at all, telling him to “Just go Google it.” when he asked for help.

State records show that Espinoza works as a real estate broker on the side. Now, a petition is calling for her license to be revoked in California.

The Turpins’ troubles come down to a combination of awful social programs and structural issues in the human-welfare system, critics say.

Hestrin said it is “unimaginable” that the Turpins have been denied “basic needs.”

Over $600,000 in private donations have been kept from the siblings but court-ordered secrecy has made it so the public isn’t aware of why the siblings aren’t receiving the money. 

Some of the younger siblings were sent to foster homes after their rescue and may have been subjected to child abuse. Two of the other children have been “couch-surfing” and reportedly another one was assaulted.

"If we can't care for the Turpin victims," Hestrin said, "then how do we have a chance to care for anyone?"

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