Friend of Turpin kids says family left kitten in dumpster

The childhood friend of the children who were rescued from a California house of horrors on has recalled her short-lived friendship with the three eldest siblings.

Ashely Vinyard, 25, lived across the street from David and Louise Turpin when the family was living in their Rio Vista home in Texas.

The couple was arrested and charged with torture and child endangerment on Sunday after their 17-year-old daughter escaped through a window and called 911 saying her brothers and sisters were being chained up in the home. 

In an exclusive interview with DailyMail.com, Ashely, a local photographer, tells of the moment she befriended two of the girls and their brother when they were kids.

'I was about ten years old when I met the Turpin kids. I was friends with Jennifer, Josh, and Jessica. We were friends for several months. We were all about the same age,' Ashely said.

'The first time I noticed them they were walking up and down the street, the three of them. Josh had a stick in his hand and was poking at rocks on the ground.'

The Turpins lived in a 2,300 square foot home on 36-acres from 1999 to 2010 before they relocated to Riverside County, California after the bank foreclosed on the house. 

They previously lived about 40 miles north in Fort Worth, Texas from around 1992 to 1999.   

Ashely Vinyard says she was 10 years old when she befriended Jennifer, Jessica, and Josh Turpin (pictured) when the family were living in Rio Vista, Texas. The three siblings are believed to be in their mid-20s now 

Ashely Vinyard says she was 10 years old when she befriended Jennifer, Jessica, and Josh Turpin (pictured) when the family were living in Rio Vista, Texas. The three siblings are believed to be in their mid-20s now 

 Ashley Vinyard, 25, says the kids were well mannered but very protective and refused to talk about their home life. She rarely ever went to their house and only ever 'got as far as the dining room and kitchen area'

 Ashley Vinyard, 25, says the kids were well mannered but very protective and refused to talk about their home life. She rarely ever went to their house and only ever 'got as far as the dining room and kitchen area'

Vinyard lived across the street from the Turpin family who lived in a 2,300 square foot home (pictured) on 36-acres from 1999 to 2010 before they relocated to Riverside County, California after the bank foreclosed on the house

Vinyard lived across the street from the Turpin family who lived in a 2,300 square foot home (pictured) on 36-acres from 1999 to 2010 before they relocated to Riverside County, California after the bank foreclosed on the house

Ashely said she went over and began talking to them and soon they started playing together.

'We lived out here in the country and I was excited to have a group of kids to play with. We mostly played in their front and back yard, we never played in the house.

'We played in the creek that runs by their house, catching frogs and minnows and throwing rocks, normal kid's stuff. Running around just being crazy and having fun.'

She says the kids were well mannered but very protective and refused to talk about their home life.

'They really didn't talk about their parents or family like a lot of other kids do. Every time I innocently asked them about their parents they would sort of shut down.'

'I only met the parents a few times, the mother always dressed modestly, the father had an intimidating presence but quiet, he never said anything.'

David Turpin drove a white truck while Louise hauled the kids around in a 12-seater type of van, she says. 

'I only went into their house on a couple of occasions - you had to enter through the back door. I remember there were animal cages and newspapers strewn about on the floor, piles with feces on it. They had dogs, cats and goats.

'Even though the house smelled of poop at the time I really didn't think anything about it, since we lived out in the country it was no big deal to have animals in your house.'

'I never went into the kids bedrooms to play, I only got as far as the dining room and kitchen area. Oddly, I remember not seeing any sign of food in the house or any dishes in the sink.'

Louise and David Turpin (pictured in their booking photos) were arrested and charged with torture and child endangerment. Police found their 13 kids living in squalor and shackled to their beds 

Louise and David Turpin (pictured in their booking photos) were arrested and charged with torture and child endangerment. Police found their 13 kids living in squalor and shackled to their beds 

The couple were known to take their kids on bizarre trips such as Las Vegas chapels to renew their vows every two years. Above they are seen in a picture from 2011

The couple were known to take their kids on bizarre trips such as Las Vegas chapels to renew their vows every two years. Above they are seen in a picture from 2011

The former neighbors say they never saw the mother of the children pregnant but when the couple moved in they had about eight kids and by the time they left 'they added a few more'

The former neighbors say they never saw the mother of the children pregnant but when the couple moved in they had about eight kids and by the time they left 'they added a few more'

Ashely's mother Shelli recalled the strange encounter she had with the Turpin kids that ultimately ended their friendship with her daughter.

'The Turpin kids rarely came over to our house to play. One day when they came over I asked them their names, a normal question. One of the girls said to me, "I can't tell you our names, but if you listen I might be able to find out what our names are, and then the little sister said, 'Don't say anything' to the older one,' Shelli says.

'At first I thought she was joking but later realized she wasn't. It was at that point I thought something strange was going on over at the Turpin house.'

Shortly after Shelli asked the Turpin kids their names, Ashely said she went over to the Turpins' house and knocked on the door to see if they could play.

According to Ashely, Louise Turpin answered the door and told her, 'I'm sorry they can't come out and play today, they can't play with you anymore.'

Ashely says she was 'hurt' by the rebuff, but continued to try to play with her new friends. 

'I knocked on the door a few more times but there was never an answer. But I could see a young baby in a playpen in the front window. Just the baby in the playpen, no one else was around.

'I never played with the Turpin kids after that day. I don't know if it was because my mother was asking

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