(photo credit: JPOST STAFF)
PERRY - A California couple has been charged with torture after police rescued their 13 malnourished children from a home where some of them had been chained to beds, and neighbors on Monday described the family as shut-ins who shunned social contact.
Police made the discovery after a 17-year-old girl escaped the house in Perris, about 70 miles (113 km) east of Los Angeles, and used a cellular phone she had found in the house to call them, the Riverside County Sheriff's Office said on Monday.
"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."
The children ranged in age from 2 to 29, police said.
The girl, who officers had initially thought was about 10 years old, contacted police on Sunday after escaping the one-story house.