The Sheriff's Department did not specify how long the brothers may have been held captive.
Sheriff's deputies provided food and water to the brothers, who claimed they were starving. Then they were taken to hospitals to receive treatment. Their conditions were not published.
California records show that Mr. Turpin had received state approval to run a private school, the Sandcastle Day School, in the family home, a stucco house on one floor in a subdivision built in recent years. The school enrolled six students this year, from sixth to twelfth grade, and Mr. Turpin was named director.
Perris, about 70 miles southeast of Los Angeles, is one of the largest cities in Riverside County, which became an emblem of bankruptcy and foreclosure during the depths of the recent recession. Known as the Inland Empire, the region has recovered in recent years.
The couple filed for bankruptcy in California in 2011, claiming in court documents that they owed between $ 100,000 and $ 500,000 in debt. At that time, Mr. Turpin worked as an engineer at Northrop Grumman, the defense contractor, and earned $ 140,000 a year, according to records. Ms. Turpin's occupation was mentioned as a housewife.
His bankruptcy lawyer, Ivan Trahan, said in a telephone interview Monday night that parents often talked about their children. They were 12 at the time of bankruptcy, Trahan said, adding that the children never visited their law firm.
"They talked a lot about them," Mr. Trahan said.
He said that Mrs. Turpin told him that the family loved Disneyland in Southern California and that he visited frequently.
"We remember them as a very nice couple," he said. "This is shocking."
On Sunday night, a van and three cars parked on the driveway in the Turpins' house, and the trucks of the TV news stations lined the street. Neighbors said they rarely saw parents or children, except when some of the brothers were cutting the garden.
The Turpins moved to California from Texas in 2010, parents wrote on Facebook after Mr. Turpin returned to work at Northrop Grumman. In a family photo of the parents and 12 children (the youngest had not yet been born) posted on their Facebook page in 2011, a friend asked if all the children in the photo were theirs.
"Yes, the 12 are our children and we are very proud of them," replied the Turpins.
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