Twenty years before David and Louise Turpin’s 13 children were found chained up in their parents’ home, a similar kidnapping and torture case happened in the exact same California town.

David Turpin, 57, and Louise Turpin, 49, were ordered by a State Superior Court judge Thursday not to contact any of their 13 children over the course of the next three years as their Perris, California, home is being investigated. This comes after a 17-year-old sibling in the home managed to escape the torture house and contact police using a phone she took from the home. The couple was charged with several counts of torture, abuse and false imprisonment this week.

According to Riverside County Sheriff’s deputies, the teen looked like an “emaciated” 10-year-old and “several children [were] shackled to their beds with chains and padlocks in dark and foul-smelling surroundings.”

But Lara Cowan, who now works as an advocate for victims of domestic violence, said the current Turpin case is like “deja vu” to the 1998 nightmare that also took place in Perris, California, Ebony reports. Cowan said she was held captive and tortured alongside several children by a polygamist she was dating. Cowan ultimately managed to escape by slipping a postal worker a letter pleading for help when her captor took her with on the errand.

“Oh my gosh, it was déjà vu all over, I couldn’t believe it,” she told the Los Angeles Times.

Cowan said she couldn’t believe the Turpin case when she first heard the news.

“She looked at me and I looked at her and I was shaking, and I reached under my dress, I pulled my dress up in front of her and I pulled that letter out and I put it on the counter. The next day, she got help for us. It went to the sheriff’s department and they came and rescued us.” Cowan said.

Cowan says the 1998 case in the town of Perris, Calif., mirrored that of the Turpin torture house today. She detailed how she and her two children were held hostage by the man, who also imprisoned and tortured his other 13 children in their home.

“He took me and my children and he locked us up in a garage for over six months,” Cowan told Ebony magazine. “They were all sitting on their knees staring at the wall...They were like little robots.”