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A mayor decried the 'act of cruelty' against 13 people shackled with chains

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Updated January 16, 2018 01:15 PM EST

The mayor of Perris, California on Tuesday decried allegations that two parents there shackled their 13 children to their beds in filthy conditions.

"I can truly say I am devastated by this act of cruelty," Mayor Michael Vargas said during a press conference. "I cannot begin to imagine the pain and suffering they have endured."

"Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims as they endure the next few weeks that are coming up," he added.

David Allen Turpin, 57, and Louise Anna Turpin, 49, were arrested last Sunday and could face charges including child endangerment and torture.

The pair were arrested after a 17-year-old girl escaped from her family's home where she and her 12 brothers and sisters had been locked up in filthy conditions.

The siblings ranged from 2 to 29, and some were so malnourished that police officers believed they all were children, although seven are adults.

Sheriffs in Perris, California are investigating a disturbing case where two people stand accused of shackling their children to their beds.

57-year-old David Allen Turpin and 49-year-old Louise Anna Turpin were arrested after one of their children called the Riverside County Sheriff's Department and alerted authorities of the situation.

The girl who escaped "appears to be only 10-years-old" and told police her 12 brothers and sisters were all chained to their beds in filthy conditions.

Further investigation revealed the parents were unable to provide a logical reason why their children were restrained.

Deputies found 13 of the couple's children inside the home, including seven adults, all ranging in age from 2 to 29.

They were malnourished and living in "dark, foul-smelling conditions, according to police.

Both parents were arrested and booked into jail on child endangerment charges.

Their bail is set at $9,000,000 each.

You can read the press release here.

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