Indiana state police received an anonymous tip that the Detjens were travelling cross-country with their children in the back of an unheated moving van.
According to reports, when the van was located, police found four children ages 9 to 18, along with 18 cats, in the back. Although the Detjens provided their children heavy clothing and sleeping bags, and cell phones for emergencies, the back was freezing and two children were riding seated atop boxes, said Sgt. John D. Bowling of the Indiana State Police
Indiana state police Sgt. John D. Bowling noted: “They were down on their luck for sure… They didn’t have a car. This was a last-ditch effort to follow up on a possible job in San Bernardino (California).”
Initially police belived that the people in the back of the truck had no means of communication with other family members. They now believe they were wrong on that presumption.
“Troopers did discover two cell phones back there,” Bowling said. “We think they were able to communicate.”
The Detjens are currently in Henry County Jail with a $5,000 bond set.