Since being rescued from what law enforcement officials called a “house of horrors,” the children of California couple David and Louise Turpin are looking forward to life on their own terms, those close to the siblings said.
The seven adult Turpin siblings are on the road to recovery at Corona Regional Medical Center, where they can catch up on recent trends, get sunshine and practice music.
But the choice is theirs.
“That’s a big deal, deciding what they’re going to read, deciding what they’re going to wear, these are all things that are decisions they make every day that are new and empowering,” attorney Jack Osborn told CBS News.
He and Caleb Mason of Brown, White & Osborn colleague are representing the seven adult children.
“That in itself is a new experience for them, understanding that they do have rights and they do have a voice,” Osborn said.
Part of the hospital has been converted to make it more comfortable for the siblings, who have an outdoor area to play sports and exercise, as well access to iPads and movies including the Harry Potter series.
Some of the adult children have also learned to play the guitar.
“I have actually gone over and showed them some chords and they loved that,” Corona Regional Medical Center CEO Mark Uffer told People. “Music is very soothing and a great hobby… it takes you to a quiet, soothing place.”
The adult children talk on Skype with their six younger siblings, who are reportedly split between two foster homes.
The 13 siblings, ranging in age from 2 to 29, were rescued after David and Louise’s malnourished 17-year-old daughter climbed through one of the windows of their Perris home and used a cell phone she found to call 911.
The couple has pleaded not guilty to torture, abuse and false imprisonment charges. They are each being held on $9 million bond.
As the legal case against the couple moves forward, the community has rallied around the siblings.
The Corona Chamber of Commerce Foundation hosted a “dine-out” day to raise money for the children. Participating restaurants in Corona, Riverside and Redlands agreed to donate a percentage of their sales back to the victims and raised over $180,000 for the children, KABC reported.
“I think that this case really hit all of us deeply in our heart, and we want to do anything we can to help the children,” Marta Cortez, owner of Eduardo’s Mexican Restaurant in Corona, told the television station. “They have a long road ahead of them, so anything we can contribute, we want to do that.”
Since being rescued six weeks ago, the adult children have expressed interest in going to the beach, seeing movies and traveling to the mountains.
Ultimately, they want to attend college and start their own careers, their attorneys said.
“I just want you to understand just what special individuals they are,” Osborn told CBS News. “They all have their own aspirations and their own interests and now they may have an opportunity to address those, which is really exciting.”