A quick look at Jordan Turpin’s TikTok page shows her as a cheerful young woman who loves to dance and interact with her followers.
In her bio, Jordan writes: “I love helping others! Love to dance and write songs!”
Her page is almost identical to thousands of others on the popular app and, scrolling through, it would be impossible to tell that she spent the first 17 years of her life locked inside a squalid home with her 12 siblings.
Jordan and her siblings suffered years of horrific abuse at the hands of their parents, David and Louise Turpin.
The couple starved, beat, and chained the children to their beds. The continued neglect caused them to become severely malnourished – to the point where they all appeared to be years younger than their actual ages.
The years of abuse finally came to an end on January 14, 2018, when Jordan, then 17, snuck out of their California home and called the police.
Happy Christmas Eve Everyone!
Her parents were in handcuffs two hours later and are now serving life in prison for their crimes.
They pleaded guilty to 14 counts including cruelty to an adult-dependant, child cruelty, torture, and false imprisonment.
Jordan, now 21, started gaining attention online after she and her older sister Jennifer were interviewed by ABC’s Diane Sawyer in 2021.
The sisters recalled the torture they suffered over the years, Jennifer describing their life as “hell”.
Now, Jordan regularly shares videos of herself dancing and smiling to her more than 473,000 followers.
Earlier this week, she posted a video announcing she had been verified on TikTok and thanking her followers for all their support.
“Hey guys, I just wanted to pop on here really quick and say thank you so much for all the love and all the support. Whoever has followed me or watched my videos, I appreciate you so much and I love you guys so much,” she said.
“And I also wanted to give a shout out to TikTok and the team that has helped me get verified. I am now verified on TikTok and I am so excited. Thank you guys so much, I am just super excited and speechless.”
On December 23 last year she uploaded another video thanking people for donating to the JAYC foundation, which has been helping the Turpin siblings adjust to their new lives.
“I wanted to thank whoever has donated to the JC foundation. That has going to help me and my siblings a lot when we get it,” Jordan said.
“People have been asking me do I see my siblings often, how are my siblings doing – I want to let you know, I do see my siblings very often and I love them so much. We are not in the best living situation right now but we do have a roof over our head and we have a way to get food and we are all very thankful for that.”
Jordan also thanked those that had been sending her money directly.
“Also, I want to say to whoever has Venmoed me or Cash Apped me, thank you so much. Now I can afford to give all my siblings some really good, nice gifts this year and I am so happy and thankful that I can do that,” she told her followers.
“I hope some day that I can help you guys and others, just like you guys have helped me. It means to much to me.”
'Close to death so many times'
During the ABC interview last year, Jordan told Sawyer about the moment she decided to escape from the house and get help.
“My whole body was shaking. I couldn’t really dial 911 because … I think it was us coming close to death so many times,” she said.
When speaking with the dispatcher, Jordan recalled how her parents would hit them, throw them across the room and pull out their hair.
“I have two … My two little sisters right now are chained up,” she told the operator.
In the interview, older sister Jennifer said she didn’t want her siblings to be remembered as victims, but as fighters.
A post shared by Jordan Turpin (@jordan__turpin)
“I want the Turpin name [to be] “Wow, they’re strong. They’re not broken. They’ve got this,'” she said.
In 2020, Riverside County Deputy District Attorney Kevin Beecham said the siblings were “moving on with their lives”.
“Some of them are living independently, living in their apartment and have jobs and are going to school. Some volunteer in the community. They go to church,” he told People.
However, the ABC investigation revealed many of the siblings were still struggling to have their basic needs met.
During the interview, Jordan and her sister mentioned they received very little money for food or housing.
Riverside County District Attorney Mike Hestrin told Sawyer some of the siblings were again living in “squalor” and had been re-victimised by the system.
A page on the JAYC Foundation website states that many of the 13 siblings are not under foster care or guardianship and are “still struggling to survive”.
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