There is happy news for the Turpin siblings who were rescued from alleged torturous imprisonment in their parents’ Californian home in January this year.
Seven of the 13 siblings – the adults, aged 18 to 29 – were on Thursday released from hospital and are living in a house together in an undisclosed, rural location.
Their lawyer describes the bunch as “happy” and inquisitive, ABC News reports, and says the seven are enjoying their newfound freedom. Oh, and they don’t want to be known as victims – they are survivors.
On February 14, the 13 siblings, aged two to 29, were saved after a 17-year-old girl escaped through a window early in the morning and alerted police to the alleged horrors within.
Since then, we have read and listened to the sordid accusations emerge. The siblings, who’ve remained unidentified, were allegedly starved and filthy. They were allegedly chained up and hogtied to beds for weeks at a time, refused access to bathrooms and showers, and forced to watch their parents eat while they themselves all appeared prepubescent from emancipation.
Now, the adult siblings have been released from the Corona Regional Medical Center in California.
Speaking to ABC News, their lawyer, Jack Osborn, said the moment was their “birth into the real world”.
“They want to be known as survivors, not victims,” he said, adding they are looking forward to their futures and refusing to dwell on their past.
“They’re joyful, warm, considerate. It’s not all about them. They want to hear what’s going on with you and me and my family,” he said.
“It’s just really fun. It’s fun to be around them. Of course, they’re really full of joy about their life and the things they get to experience right now.”
WATCH: The arrest of California couple accused of torturing their 13 children, from KMTV.
During their first 24 hours outside medical care, Osborn explained, the siblings picked citrus for the first time, made Mexican food and enjoyed the sweet taste of previously-forbidden ice cream sundaes.
Their naivety is reportedly endearing, and they are ambitious to try things they’ve never been exposed to before. Some of the siblings were asking about becoming nurses, ABC News reports, others joked they’d prefer to wear helmets while learning to drive.
“They want to do things for themselves and they want to start having independent lives where they’re responsible for themselves,” Osborn said.
“That’s the goal and that’s what everyone is working toward.”
Meanwhile, their parents, David and Louise Turpin are facing dozens of charges, including multiple counts of torture; false imprisonment; abuse on dependent adults; child abuse; and a lewd act on a child under 14 years.
They are pleading not guilty to all charges, CNN reports, and are due to appear in court on March 23 to go over the status of proceedings.