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Canadian bust ends with Christmas Eve child porn arrest in Florida

Published: Tuesday, December 26, 2017 @ 5:16 PM



Carnival Cruise Line
(Carnival Cruise Line)

Nearly a year after authorities arrested a man on a parole violation in the Canadian province of Saskatchewan, investigators arrested another man, accused of sharing child pornography with the parolee, as he disembarked from a Carnival cruise ship in Florida.

>> Read more trending news

Authorities launched an investigation on March 22, 2016, after a man was arrested on a probation violation in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, according to a federal arrest report.

The man, who was not identified, had been sharing child pornography with dozens of people using an app on his iPhone, investigators said. In June 2016, Canadian authorities ordered the app’s makers to release information on 78 users who had shared child pornography with the man.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents on Saturday identified Michael Paige Palmer, 40, as one of the people to share child pornography with the man, according to investigators. He was on a Carnival cruise ship, and authorities told customs officials in Port Canaveral, Florida, to inspect his digital devices after he disembarked.

During the inspection, authorities said they found Palmer, a resident of Virginia, with a USB drive that had child pornography on it. He had downloaded the files from the app three or four days before his cruise, the arrest report said.

Palmer told investigators that he started downloading child pornography in 2012, according to the report.

“He was intrigued and addicted for the first few months, but later became disgusted with the images and stopped downloading and viewing the images,” the report said, noting that Palmer admitted he never deleted the files.

Palmer told investigators that several years later, he started to download the child porn again, “but (he) claimed that he later began reporting the (app) chat groups where the child pornography was being distributed,” the arrest report said.

Palmer did not report the child pornography to law enforcement, but instead alerted administrators of the mobile application, investigators said.

Palmer was charged with a federal count of possession of child pornography.

The Cox Media Group National Content Desk contributed to this report.

Video shows children leaving alleged 'torture house' in California

Published: Wednesday, January 24, 2018 @ 5:50 AM

Details Emerge About 13 Siblings Rescued From California Home

Following their parents’ arrest, the Turpin siblings finally tasted freedom.

>> Watch the news report here

A surveillance video shows the siblings exiting the house where they were allegedly held captive. One grown sibling is shown carrying one of the younger children while another sibling is seen running to the silver van in the driveway that would take them from the house which reports have described as a nightmare.

>> Hundreds of journals found in home where 13 siblings held captive, DA says

David and Louise Turpin were arrested after one of their daughters reportedly escaped from the home and called police. The children were found Jan. 14 at their home in Perris, California. The Turpin parents are accused of abusing their children for years.

>> Dogs found in perfect condition in home where 13 siblings held captive

The parents allegedly forced the children to shower only once a year, shackled them to furniture and beat them routinely, Riverside County District Attorney Mike Hestrin said at a press conference. The Turpins also are accused of taunting their children with food. Hestrin said the children had not been to a doctor in four years and had never visited a dentist.

The 13 siblings, ages 2 to 29, have all been hospitalized. Hestrin said the oldest sibling, a 29-year-old woman, weighed only 82 pounds. He said a 12-year-old sibling was the weight of an average 7-year-old.

>> Parents accused of holding their 13 children captive appear in court

All of the siblings are being treated for malnutrition and undergoing other diagnostic tests.

“Circumstantial evidence in the house suggests that the victims were often not released from their chains to go to the bathroom,” Hestrin said at the press conference. “If the children were found to wash their hands above the wrist area, they were accused of playing in the water, and they would be chained up.”

The parents have each 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. In addition, David Turpin has been charged with one count of a lewd act on a child under the age of 14 by force, fear or duress. They have each pleaded not guilty to all charges.

13 Siblings Held Captive In California "House of Horrors"

David Macher, a lawyer representing David Turpin, told ABC News: “What we would like the public to know is that our clients are presumed to be innocent, and that’s a very important presumption,” adding, “We’re going to provide a vigorous defense.”

Meanwhile, Hestrin said that when the siblings were not chained up, they were locked in different rooms and were not allowed to have toys. Investigators said they found many toys in the house; however, they were reportedly in their original packaging and had never been opened.

The Turpins are accused of starting the torture of their children when they lived in a rural area of North Texas near Fort Worth. Hestrin said the torture “intensified over time and worsened” when they moved to California in 2014.

“They were fed very little, on a schedule," Hestrin added.

>> Read more trending news 

The moved to a middle-class neighborhood in Perris, about 70 miles southeast of Los Angeles, where they home-schooled their children and allegedly kept them trapped inside the home.

A sister of Louise Turpin, Elizabeth Flores, told ABC the couple kept to themselves.

“This has been going on before they even had children. … They were real private, and they didn’t come around much,” Flores said.

“We begged to Skype (with) them,” Flores said. “We begged to see them.”

Report: Couple holding 13 children captive were days from moving to Oklahoma

Published: Tuesday, January 23, 2018 @ 10:26 AM

Details Emerge About 13 Siblings Rescued From California Home

A report says David Allen Turpin and Louise Anna Turpin, the California couple accused of allegedly holding 13 siblings captive in their home, were planning to move to Oklahoma.

ABC News reported that the parents were moving from California to Oklahoma days before they were arrested and charged with torture and child endangerment, citing multiple unnamed sources.

>> Read more trending news 

David Turpin was getting a job transfer with a defense contractor he was working with, according to ABC News. Moving boxes were reportedly found at the residence. The report says the family has moved to multiple places over the years, including a home in Texas.

Related: Here’s what the children in the California torture house did to cope with the abuse

The couple’s 17-year-old daughter escaped the home early Jan. 14 and called 911, saying her 12 siblings were “being held captive” at a Perris, California, residence by her parents.

Related: Parents accused of holding their 13 children captive appear in court

The Riverside County Sheriff’s Department said in a Jan. 15 news release that the siblings, ranging in ages from 2 to 29, “appeared to be malnourished and very dirty.” Six of the siblings are minors.

Riverside County District Attorney Mike Hestrin said David Allen Turpin, 57, and Louise Anna Turpin, 49, were charged with 12 counts of torture and a lewd act on a child by force or fear of duress. The siblings could only have one meal a day and take one shower a year. Hestrin said at a news conference that the siblings were able to write in journals all the time, which will provide “strong evidence of what occurred in that home.”

Related: DA: Captive siblings limited to one meal a day, one shower a year

Two dogs were found by authorities in the home, according to city spokesman Joe Vargo. Vadrgo said in a statement that the two Maltese terrier dogs were in much better condition than the siblings.

Related: Dogs found in perfect condition in home where 13 siblings held captive

“The animals, one white and one black, appear healthy and friendly and are leash-trained, according to Christina Avila, a senior animal control officer,” a news release from the City of Perris said.

The parents made their first court appearance Thursday and entered not guilty pleas to all charges. Their bail is set at $13 million. They are scheduled to appear in court again Feb. 23.

Pregnant woman killed by stray bullet near area popular with recreational shooters

Published: Wednesday, January 24, 2018 @ 4:20 AM

File photo. (Photo by Robert Laberge/Getty Images)
Robert Laberge/Getty Images
File photo. (Photo by Robert Laberge/Getty Images)(Robert Laberge/Getty Images)

Kami Gilstrap, 24, who was struck by a stray bullet during a family outing in Arizona’s Buckeye desert on Jan. 14, has died from her injuries.

>> Watch the news report here

Arizona's Family

Friends told AZFamily.com that Gilstrap was the wife of an airman stationed at Luke Air Force Base, and she had just learned she was pregnant with their first child.

Buckeye is an area popular with recreational shooters, Buckeye Police Chief Larry Hall told reporters. He said both the Buckeye Police Department and the Bureau of Land Management had officers in the area because of the high number of people out shooting.

“There’s tons of ricochets. And our incident from yesterday was an indication that the round that was fired at our victim, yesterday, came from a completely different direction than where everybody’s firing right now. There are no regulations out here,” Hall said.

Police said there were hundreds of people out shooting Jan. 14.

Gilstrap was shot in the chest around 2 p.m. A pickup truck sped to a group of officers with Gilstrap in the bed; a group of people performed chest compressions on her in an effort to deliver emergency first aid. Witnesses told the officers they heard three distinct shots but didn’t know where they came from. One of the bullets lodged in Gilstrap’s chest. She was rushed to the hospital in critical condition, but she died Jan. 15.

>> Read more trending news 

Hall said the area is filled with trash and debris, which makes it easy for bullets to ricochet and hit another shooter.

“And that’s where this whole situation out here is absolutely dangerous,” Hall said. “I would never bring my family out here, and I’d never bring my friends out here.”

Hall said investigators have not been able to pinpoint the shooter.

“The biggest challenge we’re facing in this investigation right now is that there are hundreds of shooters out here, and there were hundreds of shooters just south of where the incident occurred, which is a 1-mile stretch of area,” Hall said. “In trying to determine trajectory, and actually the round that hit her, it’s gonna be a very challenging investigation at this point.”

Others who frequent the Buckeye desert were shocked but not surprised that something like this happened.

“It’s something that would have been a matter of time, not if, but when it was going to happen,” said Hector Guzman, who has gone target shooting in the desert a few times.

Related

Mom accused in 'torture house' case kept watchful eye on son at college, report says

Published: Wednesday, January 24, 2018 @ 3:03 AM

Details Emerge About 13 Siblings Rescued From California Home

David Allen Turpin, 57, and Louise Anna Turpin, 49, are accused of shackling and torturing their 13 children, ages 2 to 29, for years. A new report underlined part of the relationship that the California couple had with at least one of their children.

>> Video shows children leaving alleged 'torture house' in California

KABC reports that despite a lacking home education, the eldest son was permitted to attend classes at Mount San Jacinto College, a local community college. However, Riverside County District Attorney Michael A. Hestrin said there were significant conditions to his attendance.

“Louise Turpin would accompany him, wait outside of the classroom for him,” he said. “When he was finished with class, she would take him home.”

>> Hundreds of journals found in home where 13 siblings held captive, DA says

Despite the alleged factors of his home life, the son maintained a 3.93 grade-point average after attending school for six semesters.

The college said in a statement that it was aware of the Turpin child’s past enrollment.

>> Parents accused of holding their 13 children captive appear in court

“We at Mount San Jacinto College are deeply saddened and horrified to hear of the allegations involving these children,” the college said. “Our hearts go out to the victims. MSJC will follow this story and will provide appropriate support from our institution.”

The college cited the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act in declining to give further information.

>> Read more trending news 

The Turpins are accused of beating, strangling, binding and allowing their children to shower only once a year. The father is also accused of committing a lewd act against one of the children.

The couple made their first court appearance last Thursday and face 94 years to life in prison if convicted of all charges.

13 Siblings Held Captive In California "House of Horrors"