Grandparents Still In Shock And Disbelief After Grandchildren Held Captive


PRINCETON, WV (WOAY)- James and Betty Turpin live in a modest house in Princeton, WV. Things had been quiet in their neighborhood until news broke that their son and daughter-in-law had allegedly chained up their thirteen kids and were starving them.


Betty answered the door when WOAY’S Daniella Hankey stopped by this morning. Betty wouldn’t do an interview on camera but said they were both shaken up by the news and in disbelief.


James Turpin did tell the Associated Press this morning that all thirteen children are their biological grandchildren and that none were adopted.


One of their granddaughters, who is seventeen escaped her house in California by crawling out of a window investigators say and called the police.


When police showed up, they found twelve of her brothers and sisters locked up in filthy conditions. they were so malnourished, at first officers thought they were all children even though seven are adults.


The Turpin’s son, fifty-seven-year-old David Turpin and his 49-year-old wife, Louise Turpin, were arrested and are being held on a nine million dollar bond. The brothers and sisters range in age from two to twenty-nine.


Back in Princeton, Attorneys have advised James and Betty Turpin not to talk to the media.

Daniella Hankey

Daniella Hankey joined Newswatch as a Reporter. Armed with a major in Communications and Media Studies and a minor in Education, Daniella relocated to southern West Virginia from Florida to further pursue her career. During her time at Stetson, she covered several big stories on and off campus including the June 2016 Pulse Night Club shooting and Hurricane Matthew. She worked as a news anchor and reporter for her college news station and enjoyed an internship in productions at PBS. Her love for journalism started in high school when she was selected as a Bright House Varsity Reporter as well as the school anchor. Daniella was born and raised in Orlando and is a proud Floridian. Her current interests include enjoying everything West Virginia has to offer, from outdoor adventures to the beautiful mountains and scenery. As a multi-trained journalist, Daniella is always prepared to cover the stories that matter to our viewers and help to keep her newly adopted community informed. If you have any story ideas or news tips, please email Daniella at

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