SAN BERNARDINO (CBSLA.com) — A Pennsylvania couple who were driving cross-country to California for a potential job opportunity were in custody Thursday after state troopers found five of their children and over a dozen cats riding in the back of a moving truck.
Authorities received a call from an anonymous source claiming to be a relative of David K. Detzen, 41, and wife Rebecca S. Detzen, 40, of Fairmount City, Penn., who said the couple left the state in rented moving truck on Wednesday, according to Indiana State Police.
The caller told authorities that at least five children were riding in the back storage area of the truck.
Troopers located a vehicle fitting the caller’s description along Interstate 70 and made contact with the driver around 10:00 p.m. at the Flying “J” Truck stop located at the New Castle exit.
In addition to finding David and Rebecca Detzen riding in the cab with two small children, troopers found their 18-year-old daughter and four siblings ranging from 9 to 17 years old riding in the unheated cargo section of the truck.
Troopers also discovered 18 cats riding in the cargo section.
While state police found sleeping bags and two cell phones in the back, the cargo area was without any heating source in 32-degree weather. Two of the children were also found riding on the top of a tall stack of boxes in the back of the truck.
The family told troopers they had all their belongings in the truck as they made their way to San Bernardino for a job opportunity, according to the Lafayette Journal and Courier.
David and Rebecca Detzen were arrested and charged with four counts of neglect of a dependent, a felony.
The four minors were turned over to Child Protective Services, while animal control officers took possession of the cats. The moving truck and all its contents were impounded.