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Woman who bought the Turpins' Texas home found feces everywhere

Nellie Baldwin has been buying rental properties for decades. In April 2011, she bought a foreclosed home in Rio Vist...

Posted: Jan 28, 2018 3:03 PM
Updated: Jan 28, 2018 3:03 PM

Nellie Baldwin has been buying rental properties for decades. In April 2011, she bought a foreclosed home in Rio Vista, Texas. She told CNN it was "nasty" and "looked like it was uninhabitable."

"They had smeared feces on the walls," Baldwin said, "in the living room and every room just had a terrible odor."

She said she'd always wondered what happened to the family who lived in the home before she bought it.

Nearly two weeks ago, she finally found out.

The home belonged to David and Louise Turpin, the California couple accused of torturing and starving their 13 children, whom they kept shackled to their beds for weeks or months at a time, according to prosecutors. Evidence from inside their Perris, California, home suggests the children "were often not released from their chains to go to the bathroom," Riverside County District Attorney Mike Hestrin said at a news conference last Thursday.

"I'm shocked," said Baldwin, 78.

The Rio Vista home was in such terrible condition, she said, that bankers wouldn't let her look at the property unless they signed a "harmless clause," which said that if she or her family got sick in the house, the bank was not responsible.

"But we didn't think anything about it," Baldwin said. She'd purchased properties in the past that "stunk" and needed work, so she didn't give it a second thought.

The home, she told CNN, was foreclosed on in April 2010 and sat on the 36-acre property for a year before Baldwin bought it. The bank had done some cleaning inside the home before the purchase, but the inside was still filthy.

Besides the feces on the wall, there was "trash all over, everywhere you looked," and the drywall had holes in it. The smell inside was so terrible that after a day of cleaning the house, Baldwin would pour two or three gallons of bleach on the floors just to combat the stench for the next day, when she'd do it again.

"Makes you sick inside to think that people lived like that, you know?" Baldwin said. "That that many children were living in such deprived conditions for 12 years and nobody around there knowed it."

Authorities say David and Louise Turpin beat and choked their children, feeding them small portions of food on a strict schedule and allowing them to shower only once a year. The children ranged in age from 2 to 29; the oldest weighed only 82 pounds.

The parents were arrested after their 17-year-old daughter escaped their Perris home and called police to tell them her siblings were being held captive inside. The parents have pleaded not guilty to 37 charges.

"It's heartbreaking. It's really sad to think that children lived in that house," Baldwin said of the Rio Vista home. She hopes the children are able to recover and that they will have a more promising future.

"All we could do is pray for them kids," she said, "and hope that now that they get a better life, that they'll be in a place where there's happiness and love and they'll be able to forget the past."

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 1560117

Reported Deaths: 20796
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion2118112563
Lake1021301523
Allen964791027
Hamilton75541551
St. Joseph66476761
Elkhart51045634
Vanderburgh50511531
Tippecanoe45721338
Johnson39600527
Hendricks37933463
Porter35132476
Madison30330547
Clark27296331
Vigo26401347
Monroe24100249
LaPorte23921313
Howard23237381
Delaware22453370
Hancock19314220
Bartholomew18980216
Kosciusko18400204
Warrick17733216
Wayne16982303
Floyd16686257
Grant15966300
Morgan15091232
Boone13924138
Dearborn12235113
Shelby12225152
Noble12170142
Henry12027202
Dubois11696152
Marshall11625171
Jackson11111104
Cass10578143
Lawrence10529221
Huntington10523140
DeKalb10482132
Gibson10114127
Montgomery9671144
Harrison9471117
Knox9415125
Whitley902571
Steuben8934105
Putnam8542100
Miami8533135
Clinton849397
Jasper8462116
Jefferson8319127
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Scott685787
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Daviess6825130
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Greene6317112
Clay628975
Decatur6261121
Jennings619781
Wells6090121
Fayette6054122
Posey580148
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Washington528071
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Blackford282255
Pulaski281775
Brown239856
Newton239761
Benton228921
Crawford224932
Switzerland207914
Martin196722
Warren183922
Union178119
Ohio129216
Unassigned0763

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 2515949

Reported Deaths: 31987
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin2719422100
Cuyahoga2606673087
Hamilton1758091756
Montgomery1177451651
Summit1089011418
Lucas935321193
Butler83907963
Stark771001431
Lorain64214809
Warren53428489
Mahoning51224930
Lake47591611
Clermont46928452
Delaware41107220
Trumbull39746790
Licking38790416
Medina38646427
Fairfield35828349
Greene34313435
Portage32429366
Clark32361453
Richland29653444
Wood29379301
Allen25875403
Miami24243408
Muskingum23564255
Columbiana23046409
Wayne22093365
Tuscarawas19637428
Marion18616235
Erie18608224
Ashtabula18569362
Scioto18159214
Ross17594260
Pickaway16419181
Hancock16115232
Geauga15511229
Lawrence15094186
Belmont14236248
Union1419584
Huron13908184
Jefferson13656261
Sandusky13268200
Athens12877107
Knox12160201
Seneca12055204
Darke11440202
Ashland11248184
Washington11152172
Auglaize10873147
Crawford10432178
Shelby10402160
Brown10094145
Highland9746151
Fulton9726154
Guernsey9683122
Defiance9567137
Logan9470147
Clinton9428132
Mercer9099112
Madison9032111
Preble8524170
Williams8305138
Putnam8069136
Champaign8040113
Ottawa7971123
Jackson7848121
Perry7514102
Coshocton7411136
Morrow729184
Fayette715992
Pike666689
Hardin6564133
Gallia638891
Adams6227127
Van Wert6065121
Henry602596
Hocking5918105
Wyandot503594
Carroll5009101
Holmes4880167
Paulding426465
Meigs400974
Monroe316468
Harrison299162
Noble296952
Morgan292748
Vinton258646
Unassigned08
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The coldest air of the season filters into the region Tuesday night into Wednesday.
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