Couple Drove Truck With Kids In Cargo Area
California-bound family collared at Indiana truck stop
NOVEMBER 29--A married couple driving a rented moving truck cross-country was arrested last night when Indiana cops discovered that five of their seven children were traveling inside the vehicle’s unheated cargo area, along with the family’s belongings and 18 cats.
Acting on a tip, an Indiana State Police trooper spotted the Budget vehicle pulling into a truck stop on Interstate 70 around 10 PM. Inside the cab, the trooper found David Detjen, 41, his wife Rebecca, 40, and two of the couple’s teenage children.
When Trooper Nick Razor opened the 24-foot truck’s roll-up door, he found the balance of the Detjen siblings, an 18-year-old girl and four minors. As seen in the below evidence photo (click to enlarge), they were surrounded by boxes, sleeping bags, appliances, a filled gas can, and the caged cats.
During questioning, David Detjen explained that the family was moving from their Pennsylvania home to San Bernardino, California in pursuit of a job opportunity for him.
The Detjens, seen in the above mug shots, were arrested for child neglect and booked into the Henry County jail, where they are being held in lieu of bond. Their children were placed in the custody of Child Protective Services officials, while the cats were turned over to animal control workers. The Budget truck, seen below, was impounded by troopers. (1 page)