Most recently, a Perris, California, couple allegedly kept their 13 sons and daughters chained and malnourished, while filing the proper paperwork each year to tell the state that they were running a small, home-based private school for the kids.
The school opened in March 2011 and only has six students according to the latest state education department data. "In an interesting way, this may have helped them come to terms with the weird world they lived in".
Authorities are preparing to charge David and Louise Turpin, 57 and 49 respectively, with a number of counts of torture and child endangerment, having arrested them in the raid on Sunday. David Turpin has also pleaded not guilty to his additional charge of committing a lewd act on one of the female children by force, according to The Washington Post. They are each being held on $12 million bail and deny all charges.
The investigation, still in its early stages, has already begun to unravel a weird tale of a couple married 32 years who dressed their children alike, kept them away from outsiders and cut most of the boys' hair in a style resembling that of their greying father.
"Their brains are still adapting, they're still forming, they're still developing their understanding of the world", she said of the younger children.
"They would buy food, including pies, apple pies, pumpkin pies, leave it on the counter, let the children look at it but not eat the food", Riverside County District Attorney Mike Hestrin said during a press conference. - The victims were not allowed to have toys, although many new, still-packaged toys were found in the house.
Huber said parents behaving this way might alternately have delusional disorder, with a grandiose idea that only they know how to care for the kids and thinking the only way to keep their children safe is to bind them up.
In the meantime, the journals will also have tremendous value for the criminal investigation, even though they may not be admissable as evidence in a courtroom, said Laurie Levenson, a criminal law expert at Loyola Law School in Los Angeles.
Another mother standing outside the Turpin's home, Melissa Martinez, told the newspaper that it gave her the "chills" when looking at it.
After their rescue, all of the children were been admitted to hospitals and are now receiving treatment for severe malnutrition.
"Speaking to DailyMailTV, Teresa said: "'I hope they suffer as much, if not more, than those kids suffered.
The parents of the siblings, David and Louise Turpin, are due to appear before a judge in California.
"What we can say with some certainty is that this was a very controlling family", Reinecke told NBC News. "Our clients are presumed to be innocent, and that is a very important presumption". "It breaks our hearts".
"[Police] noticed the children were malnourished". They would also only return late at night. She said that she was "shocked" and didn't see "any type of abuse" of their children.
Parents have the right to educate their own children; they don't have the right not to educate their children or to use home-schooling as a cover for abuse and neglect.
Neighbours in Perris, where modest but well maintained homes are tightly packed on suburban streets, said they were stunned by the arrests. Typically, they aim "to identify relatives who are able to provide care, as long as they pass background checks and are suitable and stable", but as of Tuesday, no relatives had come forward.