California police were able to save thirteen siblings, ranging from ages 2 to 29, after a 17-year-old escaped from a house in Perris, a city about 70 miles (113 km) east of Los Angeles.
The 17-year-old was able to use a cellphone she found in the house to call the Riverside County Sheriff’s Office and report the crime.
According to officials, police found some of the siblings chained to beds and were surprised to see some of them were adults.
“Deputies located what they believed to be 12 children inside the house, but were shocked to discover that seven of them were actually adults,” police said in a statement. “The victims appeared to be malnourished and very dirty.”
According to the police, the children’s parents, David Allen Turpin, 57, and Louise Anna Turpin, 49, were arrested and each charged with nine counts of torture and 10 counts of child endangerment. They were ordered held on a $9 million bail.
The couple kept hostage their thirteen children, six of which were under the age of 18.
Following the rescue, the children spoke to police and told them that they were starving but did not give details as to why their parents were keeping them hostage.
The parents are next due in court on Thursday.