Jordan Turpin details making 911 call moments after she escaped Perris 'house of horrors'

ByBRIAN MEZERSKI via ABCNews logo
Tuesday, November 16, 2021
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In 2018, 17-year-old Jordan Turpin had only been outside a few times in her life. Thinking of her siblings chained back at the house, she dialed 911 on an old cell phone her parents didn't know about.

RIVERSIDE, Calif. -- Jordan Turpin placed the call shortly after making a decision that would change her family's lives forever.

The 17-year-old said her hands were shaking uncontrollably as she made the brave decision to dial 911 in 2018. She said it was one of the few times she had been outside in that Perris, California neighborhood.

"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."

Watch the Diane Sawyer special event, "Escape From A House Of Horror," on Friday, Nov. 19 at 9 p.m. ET | 8 p.m. CT on ABC and stream on Hulu.

RELATED: Never-before-heard 911 call released as parents who tortured kids face sentencing

Jordan Turpin, and her eldest sibling Jennifer Turpin, are telling their story for the first time in an exclusive interview with Sawyer. They are the first of the 13 Turpin children to share their stories. In their interview, the Turpin sisters described years of their parents, David and Louise Turpin, beating and choking them and their siblings, some of whom were shackled to beds on and off for months at a time, and being deprived of food, hygiene, education and health care.

On Jan. 14, 2018, Turpin found the courage to make the call in an effort to help save her 12 siblings who remained in the house where their parents held them in captivity.

"I just ran away from home," Turpin is heard telling the 911 dispatcher. "And we have abusing parents."

The dispatcher asked Turpin during the call about how her parents abused them.

Perris torture case: David and Louise Turpin sentenced to 25 years to life in prison for shackling, starving their children

"They hit us," Turpin responded. "They like to throw us across the room. They pull out our hair. They yank out our hair. My two little sisters right now are chained up."

The dispatcher tracked Turpin's location from the GPS on her cell phone, and the call lasted about 22 minutes before a deputy arrived at her location. In less than two hours after Turpin placed the call, her parents were in handcuffs.

David and Louise Turpin are now in prison. They pleaded guilty to charges including torture and false imprisonment. In 2019, they were sentenced to 25 years to life.

Watch the Diane Sawyer special event, "Escape From A House Of Horror," on Friday, Nov. 19 at 9 p.m. ET | 8 p.m. CT on ABC and stream on Hulu.

VIDEO: Turpin child speaks during sentencing: 'I'm strong, I'm a fighter'

Note: The video in the media player above is from a previous report.