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Retired Judge To Investigate Claims Riverside County Failed To Protect Turpin Children After They Were Freed

RIVERSIDE (CBSLA) - The case involving the Turpin Family, where 13 siblings were victims of horrific abuse and neglect by their parents, has prompted officials in Riverside County to better protect children by learning exactly what went wrong in this instance.

Authorities are also investigating claims that the county failed to protect some of the Turpin children even when they were freed.

The tragedy came to light in when one of the Turpin daughters, then 17-years-old, escaped and called 911. Neighbors said the children were always silent unless they were spoken to and that they saw signs of neglect that last for years.

Riverside County Board of Supervisors Chair, Karen Spiegel, vowed to protect the county's children Tuesday after a report by ABC's "20/20" on the Turpin Family.

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Squalor found inside the Turpin home where 13 siblings were abused and neglected. (credit: Riverside County)

David and Louise Turpin plead guilty to 14 counts, including torture and child cruelty, after their 13 children were found chained to beds, living in filth and malnourished. The Perris couple were sentenced to 25 years to life in prison in 2019.

"But I'm also concerned about all the children in country care," Supervisor Spiegel said.

The board is concerned about claims two of the children made after they were freed and placed into the county foster care system, claims that they were denied services, funds that were raised for them and placed in a home where other children said they had been abused.

On Tuesday, the county announced it had hired retired Federal Judge Stephen G. Larson, and his law firm, to conduct an independent investigation into the claims.

"We are identifying and scrutinizing the services provided to the six minor Turpin children and their seven adult siblings while under the care and supervision of the county departments and agencies," Larson said.

The retired federal judge said the second part of the investigation will look at all children under the care and supervision of county agencies.

"Our analysis will be comprehensive and it will include an evaluation of the effectiveness of new policies and procedures enacted by the county over the past two years," he said.

Larson added that a comprehensive report of the findings will be presented by March 31, and it will include recommendations for specific policy and procedural changes for the county to consider.

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