Newly released audio clips reveal the moment Jordan Turpin called 911 after escaping her family’s “house of horrors” where she and her 12 siblings were held captive and subjected to inconceivable abuses by their parents.
Jordan Turpin was just 17 years old when she fled her family’s home out of a window, deciding that she would try and save the lives of her brothers and sisters who’d endured years of abuse from parents David and Louise Turpin.
It was one of the few times she had ever been outside of her home.
“I was actually on the road,” Turpin, now 21, said in an exclusive interview with ABC News’ Diane Sawyer, “because I didn’t even know about the sidewalks. You’re supposed to be on the sidewalk, but I’d never been out there.”
Turpin told Sawyer her “whole body” was shaking as she made the life-changing phone call.
“Uh, I just ran away from home because I live in a family of 15, OK? Can you hear me? … and we have abusing parents,” she tells the dispatcher in the edited clip.
“How do they abuse you?” the dispatcher responded.
“They hit us, they throw us across — they like to throw us across the room. They pull our hair. They yank out our hair. I have two — my two little sisters right now are chained up,” she says.
A second dispatcher gets on the line and asks Jordan for her address — an unusually difficult question for the teenager who’d rarely left her house.
“OK you’ve got to give me a minute. It’s going to take a while,” she says in the clip. “I’ve never been out. I don’t go out much, so I don’t know anything about the streets or anything.”
Cops were able to track her location via GPS as she remained on the phone for nearly 22 minutes. Within two hours, her parents were handcuffed.
Jordan was joined by her oldest sister for an interview with Sawyer that will air on Friday, Nov. 19, on ABC’s “20/20.” The sisters spoke of their parents years of abuse that included chokings, beatings and shackling them to beds for months at a time. They were deprived of food, hygiene, education and healthcare.
This is the first time any of the 13 children’s identities have been revealed, and the first time they have spoken publicly. Jordan and Jennifer Turpin had provided victim impact statements during their parents’ sentencing hearing in 2019 where they testified to the deplorable living conditions they lived in.
Friday’s program will also feature never-before-seen police body camera footage and an update on the Turpin children, some of whom are now adults.
David and Louise Turpin were sentenced in April 2019 to 25 years to life in prison after they pleaded guilty to torturing and holding captive their 13 children for years in their California home.
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