• U.S.
  • Crime

Home Where 12 Shackled Siblings Once Lived Was So Damaged That They Moved Into a Trailer, Current Owner Says

2 minute read

A man who moved into a Rio Vista, Texas, house where David and Louise Turpin once lived with their children — who were recently found malnourished and tortured — says the house was in such poor condition before he bought it that the family had moved into a trailer, and he had to sign a waiver before going inside.

Current homeowner Billy Baldwin told ABC News that he had to sign a waiver giving up his right to sue if he was injured inside the home he later bought from the Turpin family in April 2011.

“It was just nasty,” Baldwin told the network, adding that the bathroom floor was “totally rotted out.”

Three months of renovations cost Baldwin $35,000, he told ABC News, and he later found a Polaroid in one of the bedrooms which seemed to show a rope tied to one of the beds.

But Baldwin said he had never met the Turpin family and had “no idea” what had been going on, according to the network.

David and Louise Turpin were arrested after their 17-year-old daughter escaped the home and told police she and her 12 siblings were being held captive.

The Turpin parents have been charged with 12 counts of torture, 12 counts of false imprisonment, seven counts of abuse of a dependent adult and six counts of child abuse. David Turpin was also charged with lewd conduct on a child by force or fear. They have both pleaded not guilty.

More Must-Reads from TIME

Contact us at letters@time.com