Plea deal to be offered to couple found traveling with 5 children, 18 cats in moving truck

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

A plea deal has been offered for the couple charged with neglect after police discovered their five children and 18 cats in the back of a moving truck.

David Detjen, 41, and Rebecca Detjen, 40, were arrested in late November after police found the children in the unheated storage area of the truck.

An anonymous caller told authorities that a relative had left Pennsylvania bound for California in a rented moving truck.  Troopers were able to locate the truck on Interstate 70 in Henry County.

David Detjen told the troopers he was headed to California for a new job opportunity.

The couple pleaded not guilty to one count each of felony neglect.

Henry County Prosecutor Joe Bergacs said the Detjens will appear for a pre-trial conference Thursday afternoon.  He said he will offer the deal for the couple to plead guilty to one charge of neglect.


  • April

    They shouldn't be offered a plea deal in this case. They deserve everything they get. Kids are not furniture and shouldn't be treated as such. How would they like it if it had happened to them. People are crazy these day's.

    • IUbball

      im not saying it was right to have the 5 kids in the back of a moving truck, and especially with 18 cats, but i do think the man was trying to do what was right for his family, he was heading to cali for a better job opportunity so that he could provide for his family.

      • cjmo

        It was cold. They were in an unheated storage compartment. The kids could've suffered from hypothermia or a piece of furniture could've fallen on them, causing injury or death. They could've had a wreck, & the kids would be tossed around and injured or killed. The mom or the daughter could've followed the moving van in a car. They didn't have to endanger the kids for a better job..

    • CJr

      Not saying they were right in what they did, at all, but obviously you have never been in a position like what they were. No money, looking for a job opportunity trying the best they can.

  • reality

    FIVE kids and down on there luck ovesley they were doin what they had to do. i guess you all think all 7 would fit in the front

  • Phillip

    Since there was no harm done, there should have not been an arrest. The police should have called relatives to pick up the kids.

    • cjmo

      That's about 18 cats too damn many! They might have had money if they didn't have to spend so much on cat food & kitty litter! Wonder if any of those cats ever saw a vet? Probably not! Crazy cat people, I swear! Disclaimer: I don't hate cats, but if you can't afford to take proper care of your family, you don't need 18 cats! Or dogs, either! Priorities!

  • ClanSmokeJaguar

    This was the craziest thing when the story first broke; A gaggle of children in the back of a truck with cats running all over the place s###ing on everything…no heat.

    All it took was the truck rolling, an explosion (they did have flammable substances in the back too), or some emergency where they couldn't quickly contact the parents in the cab and you have a recipe for a disaster.

    I believe a punishment was necessary but not this severe.

  • Bob

    Com' on !!! HAVE you ever been on a cross country road trip with 5 kids????? you better off with the cats sitting up front!!! Ha … ok seriously give em' break it's hard out here… I tip my hat to them. God bless them and there cats 🙂 mewoow

  • debbie

    they need to put you an your dusty husband in the back of a truck with alot of cats an let u see how that feel i hope u both rot in jail dummies not only u to look slow you act retarded

  • MeatPlow

    The cats could of been used as a source of heat for the kids, another 20 or 30 more and they could have worn shorts back there.

  • Tom

    Here are a couple headed from Pennsylvania to California who were pulled over in Indiana. Let's be honest, the crime occurred in Pennsylvania, Ohio, and would've continued to occur all the way across Indiana, Illinois, Missouri, Kansas, Colorado, Utah, Nevada… Why make the tax payers of Indiana foot the bill for a trial? Plea it out and be done with it.

Comments are closed.