Turpin siblings case: Results of investigation into siblings' allegations of neglect by county delayed

The results of the investigation into the alleged abuse the 13 Turpin siblings experienced under the care of Riverside County has been delayed until at least the end of May.

On Tuesday, Hilary Potashner, representing famed judge Stephen Larson and his law firm — which was hired to complete the independent investigation — said the final report will not be possible until at least the end of May because of difficulties getting records from probate and juvenile courts. She said that many of the county records on the Turpin case remain sealed and that it has taken numerous court appearances to get just some of them released. 

The investigation was launched in November 2021, when two of the Turpin siblings claimed, on a national TV show, that they were living in dangerous places and not given access to the large amounts of money raised by the public for their care. The investigation was to look not only into those allegations but into the system as a whole.

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The 13 Turpin siblings were rescued from their home in 2018, after years of neglect at the hands of their parents, including being chained to their beds for months at a time. David and Louise Turpin pleaded guilty in 2019 to years of torturing and abusing 12 of the 13 children and have been sentenced to life in prison with the possibility of parole after 25 years.

Potashner explained that there's still work to be done on this investigation. She said they have completed interviews with numerous children services employees, public guardian and DA staff members, and two of the Turpin siblings.

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County Supervisor Kevin Jeffries aired his frustrations at the status of the investigation Tuesday, calling it one of the most frustrating experiences he's had on the board.

"My experience in our ad hoc committee in closed session to try and get to the root of some of the challenges we face was met with, ‘I can’t tell you that, Supervisor.' 'I'm sorry, I can't disclose that, Supervisor.' ‘I can’t tell you how it happened, Supervisor,'" he said. "It is the most frustrating experience I've had in my time on the Board of Supervisors, is to be told, ‘You're responsible as an elected official to make sure all these things run smoothly, you have the right people in place, but you can't any questions about how they do their job or how effective they are or the problems they face.'"

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