The aunt of the group of malnourished siblings who were allegedly held captive in dirty conditions by their parents in Southern California has said she would "beg" her sister to let her Skype the children.
Aunt Elizabeth Jane Flores told ABC News' Good Morning America that she tried hard to get in touch with her sister, Louise Turpin, but Turpin would always shut her out.
"I want to reach out to the kids, I want them to know that for years we begged to Skype, we begged to see them, the whole family," she said, "for years".
Ms Flores said through tears that she and Turpin did not have a relationship for two decades apart from an occasional phone call.
She said she was shocked by her sister's arrest.
She also told Good Morning America her brother-in-law David Allen Turpin would "come in" and watch her shower when she stayed with the family in Texas prior to their move to Perris.
"If I went to get in the shower, he would come in while I was in there and watch me – it was like a joke," she said.
"He never touched me or anything… I was young, I was scared. I was in Texas where I knew nobody."
Louise Turpin, 49, along with her husband, 57-year-old David Allen Turpin, are being held on $12.3 million NZD bail each.