The sister of the California mother whose 13 children had been found shackled and starved in their home claims the family refused to let her meet her nieces and nephews.
“We have been so worried about them because it’s been so strange, but there was nothing we could do. They wouldn’t let anyone visit, and we didn’t know their address,” Elizabeth Jane Flores told the Daily Mail. Flores’ sister Louise Anna Turpin and her brother-in-law David Alan Turpin were arrested for alleged torture and child endangerment Monday.
Flores said that, although she has been estranged from her sister, she suspected something was amiss about her sister’s parenting.
“I haven’t seen her in 19 years. We would talk on the phone from time to time, but every time I would ask to talk to her kids, she wouldn’t let me,” Flores added. “Something didn’t seem right about her parenting, but never would I have expected it to be like this.”
Flores also said her parents tried to visit her sister’s family but were not successful because her sister would never allow it. The parents passed away before being able to visit them.
“My parents booked several flights to go see them but when they got there, they wouldn’t tell them where to go, and my parents left crying every time,” Flores said. “They died before they got to see them again. It’s just heartbreaking, and I’m so embarrassed about all of this.”
Police arrived at the “foul-smelling” home Monday to find the children, who were between two and 29 years old, “malnourished” and shackled to their beds.
The parents are currently in jail on a $9 million bond.