5 Kids, 18 Cats Found Packed Into Back of a Moving Truck Headed Across the Country (VIDEO)

Heartbreaking 73

5 kids, 18 cats found in moving truckThey say desperate times call for desperate measures, and I can't imagine a move much more desperate than that which David and Rebecca Detjen recently tried to make. Police arrested them last night in Indiana after they were found driving a rented moving truck packed with the unthinkable.

According to WLFI, there were seven children in it in all, but two were riding in the front cab with their parents. The other five siblings, ranging in age from 9-18, were riding in the back of the truck with no heat (temperatures were in the 20s overnight), no seat belts, and no way to communicate to their parents. Not only that, there were 18 cats back there too, doing all the things cats do.

It was no small journey they were on either. They had left their home in Pennsylvania and were heading to sunny California, for a potential job. So their intention was to travel this way across the entire country. The things that could have happened are unimaginable, and thankfully a tip from a relative alerted police to the situation.

They had been going for about seven hours when police stopped them about 10 p.m. last night at a struck stop in Indiana, and arrested them on preliminary charges of neglect of a dependent. The children were taken into the custody of Child Protective Services, and the cats went to the local Animal Control.

As much as stories of neglect and even people being careless enough to drive a few feet without their child secured in a car seat (Kelsey Grammer, for instance), this story just breaks my heart.

According to reports, they appear to be a couple who were down on their luck, and were trying to improve their lives. They had no car, and while they surely knew this wrong, maybe they viewed it as better than their options at home, better than not being able to provide for their family. It's easy to say we'd NEVER do something like this if we've never been deeply desperate, but the truth is none of us really knows what we'd do until we're there.

They definitely deserved to be arrested; I don't argue that. But I can't help but hope the judge takes it easy on them. I hope that perhaps this somehow gets them the help they so obviously needs.

7 children, 18 cats found in box truck

Do you feel sympathy for these parents?


Image via WFLI



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MamaH... MamaHasWings

I feel for them as well. I understand that it's reckless to have children in the back of a van like that, without seatbeats or heat. The thing is - UHaul, and companies like UHaul, do not have vehicles large enough to accommodate that many passengers. They had no vehicle of their own and the rental fee for the van more than likely put a big dent in their expenses. I am sure they felt horrible about doing it and stopped frequently to check on their children and animals. I'm sure they kept thinking "It's just a few more hours and then we'll have a new start" and then they saw the flashing lights and it all came crumbing down. I hope that the judge is understanding to their situation, I really do.

cmjaz cmjaz

They look so sad. Reminds me of the grapes of wrath

tuffy... tuffymama

It is inconceivable to me that people that hard up would carry on with EIGHTEEN CATS. That's how much money out of the family? How much food out of the kids' mouths? It just never ceases to amaze me. I see it all the time on the news: some poor kids, living in poverty and sometimes in squalor, and there animals everywhere, running in and out of the house. It isn't healthy for the people or the animals. It just frustrates me.

And no, there is no reason for this to have happened. Considering the number of kids they have, it seems like they might have a hard time coming up with good ideas or figuring out consequences of their behavior to begin with. I hope these kids can be shepherded into some semblance of normalcy, one way or the other.

twili... twilightsbella

Wow i knw it wasnt right for the parents to have the kids in the back but i dnt think they meant any harm. They just wanted to start a new life for themselves & their children. I wouldnt be surprised if the relative who called the cops on them did it to be mean not because they were worried about the kids wellbeing or else they would of offered to try and help them to prevent this from happening in the first place. They need to save the kids who are in danger instead of ruining other peoples lives who do love their children

douxm... douxmusique

That's a dang good idea! Much roomier than a station wagon!

Frida266 Frida266

No, they did not deserve to be arrested. (We're being groomed for a police state) They were doing what they could.  I've been in bad situations, and sometimes you have to be creative.  Now, things are worse for them, no job, kids taken away, pets gone.  WTF will happen to this family now?  I'm also unemployed and feeling pretty darn desperate myself.

kelti... kelticmom

Um did y'all not see the picture of the truck these children were in? Or skip over the fact that there were EIGHTEEN cats in there with them? Or the fact that it was 20 degrees out, and the back of the truck had no heat? That was an incredibly dangerous and unsanitary place for those kids to be. I have no sympathy for them whatsoever. The 18 cats is your first clue that these people are a little off their rockers.

quinn007 quinn007

I have to say, although I think this was a very bad idea, when I was a kid I would've thought riding in the back of a big truck without my parents was the best thing ever.

the4m... the4mutts

No, no, no. Just No. These people were insane to think that this was even remotely safe see that picture? Those boxes could've fallen on them if a bump was hit too hard. They could have gotten in an accident and flipped the uhaul.

These people sound like morons. Cross country for a job POSSIBILITY? Why didn't just dad or mom go? Because they're stupid! This was completely avoidable. And 18 cats running free back there? Disgusting. Nobody can own 18 cats and be sane.

nonmember avatar Carmen

Are you f#$%ing kidding me!? NO, I don't have any f#$%ing sympathy! Do you think they wouldn't be able to afford a car if they didn't have EIGHTEEN cats? Did they have NO friends or family who could have helped them move? ANYTHING that puts a child in harm's way is inexcusable and reprehensible. Some people are just too stupid to breed.

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