5 Kids, 18 Cats In Back Of Moving Van; Parents Arrested

    November 29, 2012
    Amanda Crum
    Comments are off for this post.

The parents of seven children made an unfortunate decision yesterday when they decided to allow five of their kids–four minors and one adult–to ride in the back of a moving van during a cross-country trip.

David K. Detjen, 41, and Rebecca S. Detjen, 40, were taken into custody after an anonymous tip was called in to an Indiana State Police station by a concerned family member, letting them know the group was heading their way from Pennsylvania. The Detjens said they had been down on their luck in recent months and were without a car; the move to California was based on the promise of a job there.

Officials found two children riding in the cab with the adults, and the other five family members were in the back of the van, which was without heat and held the danger of carbon monoxide poisoning. Also being transported were 18 cats, all locked in crates.

The elder Detjens have been jailed on four charges of neglect, and investigating officers say the parents knew that what they were doing was unwise.

“They were down on their luck for sure,” Sergeant John Bowling said. “They didn’t have a car. This was a last-ditch effort to follow up on a possible job in San Bernardino (in California). But it still was an unwise decision (to allow family members to travel in the cargo area). The dad has told investigators he knew it was a bad idea.”

The family hasn’t commented on the turn of events which led them to pack up and move, but a dragging economy and staggering job loss has weighed heavily on many Americans in recent years. The children are all in the care of Child Protective Services, and the animals have been taken in by Henry County Animal Control.

  • kaymay

    If you are down on your luck, which I have complete sympathy for, then why do you have eighteen cats? Priorities, people.

  • Teresa

    18 cats, man that’s alot of mouths to feed

    • NM

      It’s $1/day/cat food+litter from Kmart if you go “fancy” like “friskies”… Cats ARE family!
      I think I would do the same if I were them…

  • Rinehart

    um if the family was really concerned they would have offered to come get them of at the very least take the chldren till the parents got on thier feet?

    • joanne

      Agreed. I feel awful for the kids. I mean it WAS a stupid decision on the parents part, but putting the kids in protective services with strangers before the holidays is only going to further punish the innocent children. Where’s the “concerned” family member now. Just sleeping like a baby knowing those kids that were already ripped from their normal lives are now “orphans” in the system. That family obviously didn’t care enough to take the kids in the first place.

    • Ann

      You have no idea what the circumstances were with the family member. Maybe she tried to talk them out of it. Maybe she too is unemployed and unable to help. She was trying to save lives. Would it have been OK with you if they had died. They may be separated from their parents, but the are ALIVE!!! There was also a huge possibility of frost bite.

  • http://webpronews cate lynn

    Having that many cats is not normal, it is an illness. Animal hoarding is common these days. And these people need to seek some professional help.

  • http://webpronews cate lynn

    Animal hoarding is an illness which seems to be what these people are suffering from. That is sad.

  • MARY

    Bad decision because of the carbon monoxide. I can understand them doing this. It is hard to get rid of cats or any family pets. Granted 18 is a huge number, but maybe they had hope and thought they would swim or sink with all on board. If I had money, I would help these folks. It is so sad.

  • FightingFitz

    Times are hard but having the kids in the back is insane. I just wonder were the cats pets or livestock :)

  • steph

    Understandable we all go through hard times.but to put ur kids in danger and you also got 18 cats in there with them..they needed this..#rude awakening

  • rosana

    i hear all of you talking about the kds i am a animal lover myself but what about the kids they could have died in the back of there what were they thinking oh thats right they weren’t

  • Leslie Egna

    Even having three animals is a lot. I will never be an animal hourder.

  • Joy

    Having 18 cats doesn’t make you a hoarder it could just mean that you were not smart enough to spay and neuter your cats before things got out of hand. 3 female cats can easily turn into 18 in less than a year.

    • Jennifer

      If you are not smart enough to realize that you will have to spay your female cats to prevent a population explosion….well, then you sure as hell don’t need to be having kids, either.

  • lily

    Umm remember when there were no seat belts in the back of the car and kids would climb over seats on the buses?

    Such bull. They shouldn’t be jailed unless they have a history and maybe checked out to make sure nothing else is wrong. All it looks like from this article is they were doing what they had to do. Seriously JAILED?

    Hope that family member who told knew what they were doing and it wasn’t just some stuck up thing…

  • anita creasey

    i dont unstand if you are down on your luck why do you have 18 cats cats cost to much i know i have 5 cats and they need food water and cat litter and that stuff cost and i want to know why did some of there family help them and tell on them. when i was in OKC we did not have nothing i have a choice as a mother do i let my kids and i life on the street or give my cats away to animals control and yes i cried a lot but we was in a place so we can cook food an be out of the cold your kids come first some time we have to lose thing to gain thing. and know i have a house an lots of land an it is all my a i got me some more cats but i can afford it know but it took a while but i think god for that. we have to use our head if not the devil will have us going around in circle if we do not watch out.

  • E Davenport

    Goodness. What has this country become when the poor can’t do what it takes to provide for their family. I’d have the same concerns.But no past history of abuse…? why not hook them up with some kind of emergency fund to get them their. At least one more American would be back at work. =)

    • Stella

      People like you should be locked up, with ignorant minds… Not people who make stupid choices under a lot of pressure, is human to make a mistake, but is sad to read that under the circumstances this family is going thru you post a comment like this.

      • Ann

        So it would have been OK with you if they had all died from carbon monoxide poisoning or gotten frost bite?

  • cortney

    Like really go great family memeber! If you were soooo concerned you should have tried to help them get there safely not call the cops on them,thus breaking up their family & making it harder for the parents to get employment. Very Sad

    • Ann

      Who would you have blamed if they had all died of carbon monoxide poisoning or gotten frost bite?

      • cortney

        You dumb ho of course they should have done something but is this what they should have done & im sure the issue wasnt as severe as people are making it out to be come on you can die from carbon monoxide poisoning from sleeping with the covers over your head Or passing gas where is the police many people do this everyday ! Yopu just like the family memeber who did this probally would do the same istead of seeing how “since thety were soooooo concerned” they could help these poor people do better & safely by their children & cats its like people who try act is because they say something nasty & mean sweetly & nice it isnt what it is . COME ON NOW



  • http://yahoo Jim

    Indiana is a big time police state. first they take away his job,take away his home. Reducing him and family to a truck. Now,they take away his kids and put him in jail. If that is not martial law I don’t know what is. That is how a police state works.

    • Ann

      Can you read? Why are you blaming Indiana for possibly saving lives. They came from Pennsylvania and they could have died from carbon monoxide poisoning. Use your head

  • lara

    Unfortunate decision to have made and quite a distance but still seems just a bit excessive. Now the job will be loss. Both parents are jailed. Kids are part of the system. What for? A news story. Now who will help them to get back on their feet? Likely they only have the truck for ten days also….they’ll have to start all over again. But you wonder do they go back home and continue to CA.. Where’s the snitch?

  • Jennifer

    Anyone can be “down on their luck,” I have certainly been there before…..but come on! Its called PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY!!!! If it is unsafe and inhumane to make your kids ride in the back of an unheated van all the way to CA, then you just don’t do it. Period. You get creative and search for another solution, there is help out there for temporary situations like that, so there are no excuses for making stupid “shortcuts” like this. Why 18 cats, BTW??? Can’t feed your kids, but you can afford catfood? HUH!?!? These “parents” have set themselves and their family up for hardship from day one……first by having SEVEN kids to begin with! To those religious nuts out there who would shout at me not to judge that, and God will provide, yadda yadda…..then go back and re-read your bible. Ya know, the part about “thou shall not tempt your God, etc.” While it’s great to have faith in God during hard times, because when all else fails, it IS HE that will provide…..but don’t be arrogant and live life willy-nilly, having too many mouths for your personal finances to keep fed, and then expect God to come to your rescue because your too damn lazy to use birth control and think ahead about the consequenses of your actions. Nobody needs to pop out seven kids, and nobody needs to hoard cats, period. To all of you who would accuse me of being heartless and judgemental, that is just your problem. I am only pointing out that the world needs a serious dose of common sense and personal responsibility!!!!! So don’t even bother trying to tell me off for this post ’cause I wont respond.

    • kay voss

      Very well said!!!

  • Janice

    For the people who are commenting about how many cats a person has–they never stated whether some of those cats are kittens. If a mother cat just had a litter that can be up to 7 babies (maybe more, maybe less). It would explain why they took so many cats with them–you can’t separate the babies from the mother for at least 7 weeks. They don’t need food because of the milk from the mother.

    It may be possible these people have 18 cats but it may ALSO be possible that some of those said cats are really kittens. If the later is the case then I find nothing wrong with their priorities. In fact, they can sell the kittens for money.

    As far as the “concerned family member” goes: I wonder why they didn’t offer to help drive the family to Penn. in the first place. Maybe it’s because their priorities aren’t straight.

    • Ann

      Or maybe the ‘concerned family member’ is also unemployed and couldn’t help. At least they are ALIVE!!!

  • elle

    I live paycheck to paycheck but would give a few bucks to help those kids and cats out if there were a fund started. Facebook?

  • JoeThePimpernel

    There is no situation so bad that you can’t make worse by calling the cops.

    Cops are nothing but union goons/gangbangers with badges.

  • romey

    Those parents are imbuciles. They should have made a cross-country meow mix commercial! They had all the right ingredients except for the cameras to tape it.

  • Teresa

    I don’t understand why they would take these children from their parents when they were just trying to make a way to provide for them the best way they can. Why don’t they take the money they will give foster parents to take care of these children and help this family back on it’s feet and keep this family together instead of breaking them apart?

  • Jane

    Wow, this is terrible. I understand being down on your luck. Sometimes when people are depserate they make irrational decisions but now this man and his wife are in jail…their children already scared that they are are probably in custody of the system…the man probably lost all chances of getting that job let alone ANY JOB now because of this arrest! And for this concerned snitch…I mean family member…that person probably snitched solely for the reasons of selling out this story. If he/she was so concerned, why didn’t they help in the move knowing there are children involved.

  • Kathleen

    What ever happened to compassion? This is a family who, in spite of their struggles, have made the commitment to stay together and try to make things better for themselves. Was it an unwise decision to put five kids in the back of a moving van? Yes. Should the parents be jailed for that decision? No. Maybe the relative who reported them could have sprung for a few bus tickets for the adult child and the other four to travel to California separately. Maybe that’s what we all should be thinking about doing right now! How can we help?

  • joie

    Wow that was fxxxing stupid!!!! Find a way don’t put your kids in danger!!!!

  • Perry

    Yes, it was unwise to put living creatures in the van, why wasn’t there someone helping them find resources? Was there no social services in their community who could list resources for them? But for the police to arrest them is adding injury to injury. Maybe the social services will find a way to reunite the family, instead of further punishing them. HOPE AND CHANGE, RIGHT??

  • LauraMaxy

    Truly this is a terrible story to even read. For one, having 18 cats, and trying to feed your own children plus the cats is overwhelming for any person to have any MONEY. For the parents, you need to look out for your kids. How could you do this to your innocent children who dearly need you and at this time of year. The family member whom reported, you could have done better than what you laid down upon them. We as a whole (people) don’t care about other people and seems anything but to help out in better way than you did! Remember, what you put out — is what you get back! To all involved — seek help — seek how you can help your family — than destroying them! Most of all Seek GOD !!! Truly a Sad World Today

  • Ann

    For all of you that are so down on the family member, you don’t know their circumstances. Maybe they tried to talk them out of it. Maybe they too are unemployed and couldn’t help them. This person chose to keep them ALIVE!!! There was also a huge possibility of frost bite. The children may have been taken away, but at least they are now warm, well fed and have a place to sleep…or yeah and they are ALIVE!!!



  • DJ

    Indiana seems to jail people for the slightest thing. It was was not wise to have people riding in the back of a moving van, but I have seen it before with my work with homeless families in CA. I also think that the family should have found homes for the cats before they left town. The family I helped had 5 dogs and 5 kids in the back of their moving van. We didn’t arrest them, we helped them through a church funded volunteer organization to get back on their feet.

  • Janice

    Also to anyone fussing about how many kids this family has I need to respond to you. Honestly, there are some families that get twins FREQUENTLY. They’ll have one or two kids singlely then one day BAM! Twins or triplets. You can’t help that nor can you control it.

    There are good parents in this world that really do try to provide the best for their children no matter how many they have. I know one couple that has ended up with two sets of twins. They were originally shooting for two, three tops. Now they have an extra mouth to feed but it doesn’t matter because the kids are just wonderful. It’s hard financially for them but with help from their families and friends they make it. And most importantly, they love their children. Now this family did make a mistake but it’s obvious from the lack of help this “concerned family member” offered (aka NOT offering to help the family move) does NOT care about the family or the children. Even if they couldn’t have drove the kids they could have at least offered money for a rental or something. I don’t make much money but I’d do everything I could if one of my family members had children and this was the last chance at getting a good job. My whole family would be the same. It’s ridiculous that no help seems to have been offered. And to arrest them? Really? Other people get away with worse things. It was a stupid idea, sure, but I don’t think it’s wise to separate these kids from their parents. I also don’t think it was wise to make the poor man miss his only chance at a job. The police should at least let the man go to his interview or whatever. Just monitor the man that’s all.

    • RJ

      Well said, I agree with you.

    • foxmulder241

      In this day and age it crazy for people have more then one unless they have multiples the first which they have no control over.

      There is over seven billion people and is over populated and resources are be coming limited, it’s time people either cut back on doing it or get spayed or neutered.

      This what Bob Barker should have said at the end of The price Is Right “This Bob Barker reminding you help control the human population and save resources have yourself spayed or neutered”

    • lisa

      well if someone has a set of twins or triplets they should think twice before having more, if they cant afford them then they need to ask family for help.

  • CF

    Way to traumatize the kids by taking them into Child Protective Services. The parents were unwise, but not intentionally harming their children. How many times did we as children ride in the back of an open pickup truck (I grew up in a rural county) or ride in the car without (gasp) seat belts? Come on. Education is needed here, not discipline.

    • Lynne

      Well said!

  • Lynne

    Absolutely ridiculous to jail them and put the kids in child protective services. How about using those government resources to help them get there safely? Charge them a fine that they can pay over time if you have to “punish” them. Just another example of how you’re screwed in this country if you’re poor.

    • foxmulder241

      CPS is more dangerous then the parents it a fact CPS is full of sexual predators and abusive people, Maybe CPS was down on the quota because they get paid to take kids and lots of times they even sell the kids

      • Illinois41

        Since when does CPS have quotas and get commission to take kids? Selling kids? Are u serious? If you don’t know what you’re talking about, please don’t say anything.

        • laura

          Better read up on CPS. They DO get money for placing kids in foster homes and the foster parents also prosper by taking the kids in. It’s a child abuse ring that people need to wake the f’k up and stop seeing these private agencies as there to help. They oftentimes make things worse for parents than better.

          • SMDH

            CPS also receives an ave. of $25,000 in funding per child placed with an adoptive family.

            Aunt and uncle were foster parents who adopted. They finally got out of fostering because they couldn’t handle the corruption and callousness of the system, anymore. It was too infuriating and heartbreaking.

  • romey

    Just goes to show…..all the world’s problems CAN BE solved. The answer? Remington 12 guage!! :)

  • Charlotte

    I think this family was trying to make it better for all, including the 18 cats. They were probably on their way to the relative – who called the police. If the relative did not want them there – that’s all they should have said, then the family could have made other arrangements. If I had to transport my family that way – I would have just put holes in the side of the truck – to do what I had to do. The relative is an a%%hole.

  • foxmulder241

    “after an anonymous tip was called in to an Indiana State Police station by a concerned family member, letting them know the group was heading their way from Pennsylvania”

    Sounds like family member was just mad and wanted to start trouble with family like that who needs enemies

    • Linda Van Kirk

      If the family member was so concerned about the entire family’s welfare, why didn’t they offer to help with the move so they could improve their lives? Some people just thrive on controversy. And why anonymous if they were so concerned? All they did was cause more trauma for the very people the were “concerned” about.

      • SMDH

        Turns out (posted above by someone who actually knows/is part of the family and has physical proof) that it was a vindictive and controlling grandparent unwilling to allow them to go with the children.

        When the rest of the family helped them out as much as they could (ie rented the truck, helped them pack, and get the kids and cats into the back and off on their way) the grandparents called it in to the cops in Indiana out of spite. Which they warned them would happen if they tried to leave.

  • janeese

    Really it sounds totally TOTALLY like the law overstepped its bounds. I’ve spent time in the back of a Uhaul moving back from college and I didn’t die. This is where I say, less government. No one was hurt, no one was being abused, and a family was trying to make a better life for themselves. Now the kids are traumatized and you’ve put them in the “system”. Great job Indiana. Way to pop a family’s balloon of hope.

    • http://yahoo.com nicole

      I agree janeese, the family was trying the make the best of a bad situation and now indiana’s finest have made the situation worse….!!!!

  • Rebecca Shepard

    Honestly, Can’t you find some real crime to focus on instead of a family who is down on their luck, and no family to trust to help them get to where they need to go. Shame on you police officials and extended family members of these folks. To the police official, GO FIGHT SOME REAL CRIME. TO THE EXTENDED FAMILY MEMBERS I HOPE THIS FAMILY NEVER TALKS TO YOU AGAIN, and may someday you fall on your luck and find your self f*****.

  • http://yahoo MIA

    they let child abusers kill their kids and get away scott free, then jail these people who made a bad judgement, traumatizing their kids and pets. Next time, leave the side door open for air or the back partially rolled up???. seems A-HOLES run in every community and family. WHY DIDNT THE SNITCH JUST GIVE THEM A LITTLE MONEY INSTEAD AND HELP THEM OUT??? it would be cheaper to give these people train tickets to Cali than to jail them and put all their kids and pets up by the state. Real bad criminals there, how dare you transport kids outside of their crates with no kitty litter available!!!

  • rebecca

    who cares how many kids they heve?!?! i say kuddos to the parents for having the brain to try and better their lives. they clearly all had to travel together with not having a car to follow behind it with the other kids…. heres another round of applause to the fact that there was an ADULT in the back with the children

    • lisa

      It was there adult kid in the back. Read the whole story

  • JF

    I can relate to this. After losing my father in 2000, I was kicked to the curb by Sheriff’s and the truck repossessed due to them being in my father’s name and having a greedy brother who decided he wanted everything. With nowhere to go and only a few hundred to live on and a chance to start over 2000 miles away…..I rented a U-haul and dragged the kids, 3 pitbulls and 8 cats across country. Everyone wanted to stay in the back to make sure the animals were all good and complete with a walkie talkie we made it to our destination after stopping every few hundred miles to do usual potty brakes. I knew it was illegal, but what was I to do? Maybe U-haul should design the moving vans with a door behind the cab for this purpose. I am sure it has been done many times before. Luckily, I had a car and a place to live waiting when I got there, Ist had to get there. Imagine the people who don’t.

    • wendy

      life is tough, and you gotta do what you gotta do. People don’t care enough to help but they’ll drop that dime as they are sitting in their cozy homes in front of ther tv’s chowing on that drumstick, watching you freeze in flip flops and a hoodie in sub zero degrees. They will pretend to give a damn, if they really did they would rent you a car, So sick of do gooders, who are willing to tear families apart. I say if you are not going to do anything to HELP then shut you mouth and look the other way, people are trying thier best, it may not reach your standards but maybe it’s the best they can do.

  • http://WPN Dian

    I thought this was the “giving season” adopt a family, red kettles, toys for tots, etc….evidently NOT in Indiana

    • lisa

      If they dont ask for help, no one knows they need it

  • cecilia thompon

    its a real shame that the person that turned them in couldn’t of help in alot better ways then they did God bless people i pray for the best for the family

    • Tee Bee

      “could have,” “better ways thAn,” and if god was going to bless them, why didn’t he do it before they had to pack up what little they had and move across the country on just the hope of a job?

  • betty zien

    they should help them out rent them a car or bus for them and its not little ones by there self in back of the van and sometimes, we have to do what we can to get by why don’t u get out there and get the ones are really hurting baby’s

  • Lexi Smart

    Ever heard of give until it hurts? That means you help until you can’t help anymore. But you never hurt. Calling authorities was just hurt piled on top of hurt. And the fact that the father said he knew it was a bad idea…oh come on, what was he supposed to say? He thought it was a GOOD idea? He was going for broke trying to hold his family together in an unprecedented economy. The only thing I took from this was as others have said the pretentiousness of the family member who felt bound to report instead of digging in and helping.

  • http://yahoo jennifer strong

    Unbelievable. This family is trying to make an a huge move to better their lives, they have their cats crated & are taking them with them,
    there is not enough room in the cab for everyone. Do authorities expect them to pay for more luxury accommodations for this very brave trip. These people need a round of applause not the police harrasing
    them & putting the children in social services. SOMEBODY NEEDS TO HELP

    • Mon

      Get the thought that they were trying to get it right…but if you are struggling….don’t ya think 18 cats are a bit much….and 7 kids are a lot in this day and time, although it is their right…18 cats with no job and putting kids in the back of a moving van tells me that there’s something missing upstairs…ya know???

  • crystal

    18 cats!!! why on God’s green earth would they have 18 cats? 1, 2, maybe 3 cats, but they could have used the money to feed those cats on the kids, bills, or a car payment for a car to haul the other chidren. Why didnt they contact local churches and other agencies for help? Honestly I don’t think these parents even thought anything through before leaving. They never should have taken the cats with them. I understand that animals become part of your family but your children come first always.

  • Yesyou

    7 kids, Dad and Mom unemployed?

    How about using some birth control?

    That’s way cheaper than having to move.


    • lisa

      I agree

    • SMDH

      All the kids were possibly/probably born before the economy completely tanked. Before the parents lost their jobs. And, I wouldn’t be surprised if they were Catholic (btw, the largest religious denomination in PA, with Protestants — and /their/ huge families — second)… which means birth control is /not/ an option.

      Personally have three kids of my own, not a one of them planned. All three were conceived whilst using birth control, and dad was “fixed” years before the third one came along. Birth control… ANY form of birth control (aside from total abstinence) is /not/ 100% effective.


  • Vicki Lynn

    This is very serious. Praise God everyone is safe. Question is, What should have this family done ? We are living in desperate times. I,m sure a winter living under the bridge ,would have been equally as dangerous for his family. I hope the community and police force will take up a donation. Hopefully help this family safely on their way. They probly won’t. They will loose their animals. They will have to fight for their kids. Our officers motto is ” To protect and serve”. They don,t do much of either. They are rude, mean,They all act like Comando want to be’s. Paranoia and aggression has filled their hearts. Our country would never have maid it thru the,Dust bowl ,Depression,cival right riots of the 60-70’s with attitudes like officers have today. Sad. I am still proud of my family’s generations of law enforcement in the past. I am equally proud none of my family has chose to carry on our tradition. It ain’t the same. Goodluck to this family. I will put them and others in my prayers.

    • lisa

      why dont you just give them your life savings and get them back on their feet. alot of us are in the same boat they are but dont put your kids lives in danger they could of asked other family members for help. Those kids could of died from carbon monoxide fumes

      • Nikki

        Obviously they COULDN’T have asked other family members for help, as their “family members” were the one’s who put them on the spot in the first place.. I agree with Vicki, would you have rather seen all 9 of them living under a bridge, begging for money and stealing? At least the poor guy was TRYING to do right by his family and get a job, ANY JOB, and keep his family together. Many men out there just ditch their families and go off to be with other women and don’t even attempt to help out their own flesh and blood. Be grateful that this man was trying to do what was best for his family.
        My father is currently living in a friends garage with no utilities, water, etc… He has a heater that runs off of Kerosene. He is PROBABLY more at risk of death than the kids were in the back of that van. When my Mother divorced him, he kinda went on a downward spiral, she took the house, cars, kids, etc… Left him with NOTHING! Now that I’m an adult and have my own place, I’d LOVE to take him in, but I truly do not have the space, as I only have a 2 bedroom home and 3 young children.
        Keep in mind also that the bottles of gas or whatever were capped off! It’s not like the parents took the caps off and said “Hey kids, get a whif of this!”. I believe that they were doing the best that they could the only way that they knew how. Good luck to them and God Bless them all. I hope that they get back together before the holidays, but the way our legal system is here in the US, they most likely will not. It’s very sad.

  • va

    Ok, it’s not the safest but obviously they are really down on their luck. I could see if it was middle of summer and kids and cats were unconscious or dehydrated, but that’s not the case. It seems extreme to arrest them. Now they have to pay fines and try to get their kids back with obviously no money, and that promised job is probably gone. Thanks “concerned” family member.

    • lisa

      so would be better for the kids and cats to die of carbon monoxide poising?

      • http://yahoo Erica

        Yeah no doubt. Whats wierd is that there was 18 crates with cats inside of them and umm have any of you bought an animal crate lately? They are not cheap, a small one is like 39! At least they were crated. The kids were in the front where there was no risk of poisoning and the other family members were not minors therefore the chose to ride in the back. Why didnt they get tickets if the parents were arrested? I would cut that family member off, thats terrible they called without trying to help!!

        • Nikki

          I totally agree that it is terrible that the family member did not at least offer to try & help, instead they let the family just get totally destroyed! But, it does state in the article that only ONE of their five children in the back was an adult, the other 4 WERE minors..
          This is what the article says “The parents of seven children made an unfortunate decision yesterday when they decided to allow five of their kids–four minors and one adult–to ride in the back of a moving van…” SO, the only other adult that they could’ve ticketed would’ve been their adult child, but I think that the officials were wise not to charge him/her as well because I personally think that the family is experiencing enough at this point…
          Also, I know what you mean about the crates! Geez, I needed to get one for my cat to go to the vet (I only have ONE cat, thank God!) and it was like $50 or something… I just went ahead and borrowed one from a neighbor! I sure hope that they had got a discount for buying so many crates!

  • Realistic

    I am shocked at how many people think that this is okay that a family did this to their kids and animals. Obviously this poor family had financial problems as most of us do, but there had to be mental issues as well. Life 101- don’t put your kids in a car trunk or in the back of a moving van with 18 cats.

    • lisa

      I agree with you

      • chewbaacaa

        I rode to mexico in the back of a truck with a camper on the back, no A/C didn’t have it in any automobile. Went twice, early 60’s on vacation. I’m didn’t have 18 cats. But if i wasn’t coming back home i would have every cat with me. People these days are all worried about the wrong thing, If they would put that much time in helping people and not labeling people and mining they own business. THIS WOULD NOT BE HAPPENING. They maybe would of found a job from somebody who cared and a animal shelter who were willing to fix the cats for free. People like to see other people hurting now instead of helping them. SAD…….

  • http://yahoo Pam

    I think they could find a better way to help this family then taking the children and arresting the parents. I do not however understand why they have 18 cats! No wonder our shelters are over run with animals. The people that can’t afford to spay animals end up just letting them breed, and of course eventually we hear the stories about children living in animal filth. It would be a nice ending, if the parents get jobs and the children are returned. However, the cats need to find other homes. Ridiculous! 18 cats!

  • http://webpronews Djack

    If you have 18 cats that are all being transported in locked crates then you are not down on your luck! That is a total of 27 mouths to feed… really?? Is that really wise to have so many animals when you cannot take care of your own children properly?

  • Anita

    I think this family made a couple of poor choices. 18 cats? Really? I have one cat and that is costly enough! Honestly though, I think these people need to make a choice to get rid of the cats, save all that money not having to buy cat food and get a car! Then move out west and not put your children in danger. These parents should not be arrested they just need to be told to get rid of the cats. And if that family member was so concerned about the safety of the children maybe they should of helped a little more.

  • lisa

    They are down on there luck cause of 7 kids and 18 cats. I think someone needs to learn some form of birth control!

    • Fantastic

      The cats or the parents?

      • badbee


    • Kim


    • Joe Momma

      SHUT UP “lisa”

  • Fantastic

    Who wants to put money on which cat gets knocked up next….

    • andrea king

      so sad

  • Tim Amato

    They ALLOWED them to ride in the back…they did not FORCE them to. It is not illegal to ride in the back of a truck is it? I used to love to ride in the back of trucks as a kid because it was more fun than riding in the cab with your folks. Big deal. Whoop Dee Doo…

    • Realistic

      Sometimes my computer doesn’t show the picture attached to the article.. I’m sure this is why you commented the way you did. This isn’t an open pick up truck and they are not going on a fun “hay ride”; it’s a moving van with only a small area in the cab portion. It wasn’t that they ALLOWED (you put in caps, so I am as well) them to sit in the back, it’s because this was the only place to sit.
      Please protect the children..

      • Tim Amato


  • Joe Momma

    Concerned family member my a**! What a traitor. You have caused more pain than you’ll ever know. Are you concerned now that the children have been taken away? Can you imagine their fear? Shame on you.

    • chewbaacaa

      all the cats were boys joe momma

      • EMILY

        Leave the parents alone After having 7 kids dont you think they know how to take care of kids. At least they didnt let them wonder into the street like some drug addict parents do. They kept their family together the only way they know how. They might be down on their luck. But the kids were all fine and the parents never beat their kids, neglected them, parents did do drugs. LEAVE THEM ALONE! And the family member dont think the parents dont know you are because they do. I hope they dont ever speak to you again.

  • Maria la O

    I don’t see anything wrong with the man having his children ride wherever. He was looking for a better life for himself and his family. He could have left them behind and let social services in Indiana take care of them while he traveled for his job. But not all families are willing to separate. Not even temporarily. It might be a little crazy to travel with so many animals, but it was best for the children to have their pets while adjusting to the move. It used to be that whenever families traveled from place to place on a pick up truck, the cab could only seat 2-3 people. It was the most common thing for the rest of the party to travel in the back. Hey, there are no guarantees in life. I am willing to guess that the person that called with the anonymous tip, was a disgruntled, controlling, relative that did not want them to leave. Follow the scent and you will find your cowardly trouble maker. I hope someone can start some kind of fund raiser to help this man and his families buy a van for all of his brood to travel in comfort and safety. Social Services, butt out! And stop mooching off of the system yourselves, you are the biggest free-loaders in the entire planet!

    • me

      This family has mooched the system for several years now. Went on unemployment and never applied for places he knew were hiring because he got more on unemployment. However they own a home and have family nearby willing to help. There was no job…just a hope in California. I know the family and believe the call was a last ditch effort to keep the kids safe.

  • Ann

    Are Americans even human anymore? They have NOTHING. It COSTS $ for food, shelter and birth control. I’m appalled at people’s remarks on here. Show some compassion. How is putting the parents in jail going to do any of the kids good? Send them to foster care? The cats to a shelter? Where’s the Red Cross or someone to help these people out? The “concerned” family member should have given them assistance not call the cops. I hope some of the people making harsh judgements about them fall on a little hard time. Even the Grinch grew a heart. Maybe Americans can start too.

    • Matt

      I agree whole heartedly. You say “Americans”, what country are you from? America is running head first into the ground because it is completly controlled by the filthy rich. I wish there was a way for me to get my family out of here because its becoming impossible to survive.

      • Katherine

        Have you heard of “stealth gardening”? What we need to do since Obama was reelected is learn to help each other and learn to grow our own food and help others to do the same. This used to be a country of the “can do’s” instead of the “poor me’s”. We can also learn to make or repair our own clothes, build our own shelter, etc. There are Meetup groups that do exactly that. I know, we have thought of getting out of this country while the getting is possible. We also don’t really have the money to leave. So, while we are stuck in what used to be a country of limitless possibilities, we grow some veggies, have chickens and rabbits, plant fruit trees and try to learn to make things we need. That is what our ancestors did and they were healthier for doing so! Like the movie GALAXY QUEST the commander was always saying “Never give up; never surrender!” Of course, that was a comedy movie.

      • Marilyn Kruse

        Your words tell who you are. My comment to you, is “YOU VOTED FOR WHAT YOU GOT, and now you want a way out of what our beloved U.S.A. has become, and the direction it is going. Don’t blame the “filthy rich”……blame yourself and others like you who voted for your Communist “savior”.

    • Sarah

      Well put Ann and I completely agree!

      • Guy

        I feel for the children.Yet,the father had to do something to help his family, with what he had to work with. That doesn’t mean that what he did was right,or safe.I hope he, and his wife will think things through, before doing anything like this in the future.

  • JP

    So the only thing that could be done for them is to add further damage and trauma by taking away the kids, putting them with strangers (probably in separate homes) taking the animals to a shelter (where they will be put down) and arrest the parents.

    YEP makes me proud to be an American. I guess however if that had entered the country illegally, let their children accompany them in danger of being killed, and not spoken English then they could have had ALL the help they needed.

    • http://WebproNews JG

      I fully agree with you… The family was doing what they thought was best to ensure that everyone was held together… now all the kids are seperated in group homes!? Wheres the family who gave the “anonymous” tip now, when they really COULD use them!?…

  • Lynn

    I struggle to support myself and my one dog, and I will say, if a family member were to do what that family did – there is no way I could even begin to help them. And I would be concerned, maybe to the point that I might call and report them. There are a lot of unknowns here we can’t possibly know: How long had they been unemployed? California was the closest place to find a new job? Perhaps they had received help from local agencies, churches, etc….our local agencies only allow so many “helps” per year. People who abuse the system (and yes, it happens a LOT) will move around every so often for that reason. And, the question I always want answered- did the parents smoke? cut out cigarettes. Beer? gone. reduce the number of cats. Without all those cats there would have been quite a bit more money. I wish them the best of luck, but something just doesn’t sound right.

    • Katherine

      Maybe you can walk some day in those people’s mocassins. Judge not lest ye be judged. Why go out of your way to emphasize the negative possibilities?

  • Daniel Boone

    Wouldn’t renting a car have been cheaper?

    • SMDH

      … and… they were supposed to haul their belongings in… /what/, again? The trunk?

      There’s nine of them, not counting pets. A “car” wouldn’t have cut it, they don’t make 9-passenger Capris Classics, anymore. Not even a regular mini-van would have worked. They would have needed a full-sized van, a Suburban, an Escalade… something that would have cost a small fortune to rent, not to mention the way it’d guzzle gas.

      Then, they would /still/ need to rent a trailer. Or go back and /get/ their things, after having to pay for putting it in storage. Or, pay to have it packed, loaded, and shipped.

      Even taking the bus, the train… none of those would have been cost-effective, either.

  • Leah

    At least these people were trying to do something. I work for people everyday who sit back, complain and wait for unearned money. I would support anyone of my clients who came up with this crazy plan. We reward apathy and punish initiative.

  • Katherine

    Jailing the parents, children, and animals shows an absolute lack of compassion. These people did not abandon their children or animals. They were obviously doing the best they could to keep all of the family together. Why not start a fund so these people, the children and the animals can all stay together? Let the poor guy go so he can get a job and support his family and pets. Donate money to them!!! Don’t lock them up! We have too much government and too little humanity any more. I have volunteered with animal shelters over forty years. A bad person dumps their pets or children on the side of the road. Good people do the best they can. Obviously the relative turning his own family member in to the law is a person who hates his own relatives. WE all need to show more love and less judgment.

    • cj

      I totally agree with you, goverment an police do notihing to help folks who are doing the best they can. They only see lets arrest them so they can pay a crapload of money, that they didn’t have
      before they got arrested. This country cares less and less about it citizens.

  • http://webpronews.com RP

    Let’s see if I have this. They were taking a chance by moving cross-country on nothing more than a hope that there might be a job opening, and there weren’t a lot of options as to how they could do it. On top of that, a “family memnber” dropped a dime on them because of the way they were trying to do this. So now they get grabbed, cuffed and stuffed while the kids and animals are hauled off to who know what’s going to happen to them…….

    And people want to know why I tell them that what I’m doing is none of their freaking business.

    • Katherine

      Right on, brother- or sister! Can’t tell from your initials. What used to be legal in America is frequently no longer so. This way our society can create criminals and then turn them into slaves by removing their human rights. There are so many new laws not even the lawyers can keep up with them all.

      Living in love in Texas

    • Nikki

      Exactly! I think that if you’re planning on doing something, ANYTHING, that you should keep it to yourself until it’s done. Maybe not even then. What has happened to this world? We can’t even trust our own FAMILY now?? It’s just plain sick. At least this man was TRYING to help his family. Is it better to risk driving across country ONE TIME to get help & a job, a new start? OR would it be better to stay in a place where you have family whom are stabbing you in the back and no job, little to no money, and 7 kids to care for? I think that if I were in the same position that I would’ve done the same thing… BUT I do not think that I would tell any of my family members this, after reading this article!

      When I was younger, we had to move a few cities away and we rented a U-Haul.. Well, the one that we rented only had 2 seats in the front (they must’ve changed them since then). SO, my brother & I sat in the back with my father while my mother drove. We survived & I really don’t think that it was all to dangerous to begin with. It was actually kinda fun, except for the things in the back falling on us with every turn! LOL!

  • me

    If you knew the family you would not make these dumb comments. I know the family. They have a home and family willing to help. No job offers in California…just hopes. Job offers here in PA…yes but dad made more on unemployment. All the family tried to help. Calling it in to the cops was a last ditch effort to keep the kids safe.

    • Cindy Balzomo

      There were no Job offers in PA! that is a lie. The family in PA could have not gotten the truck for them. They could have not put the kids in the back of the truck. The grandparents were affraid the kids would go to hell if they moved out to Ca and they swore if their parents tried to take them out of the states they would do what ever they could to have them removed. I HAVE THE EMAILS. These parents were set up! The truth needs to be told.

      • SMDH

        Ouch. Such things really don’t surprise me. Being from PA, I’ve seen the likes of this repeatedly… and have been on the receiving end of other things just about as nasty.

        I’ve even had people ask me what part of /Alabama/ I was living in, when they’ve heard some of the stuff I and my friends have been through, there.

        I really hope it gets sorted out, and this family is put back together. Soon.

    • Pam

      I don’t know the family, but I do know a lot of families. Maybe the “price” of the help was just too high. I’ve got family that I would go homeless before I let them help me just for that reason. I’m not casting aspersions at this family, just noting that one cannot know the whole situation unless they do.

    • adarc

      It seems that is “family” were that worried about they way they were travling, they could have offered to help them drive out there. One minivan would have solved the problem.

  • Mimi

    What a sad story. I seems that the parents were doing their best just to get by and keep the family together. They fell on hard times and could not get up on their feet. Yes, they did make a horrible judgement call on letting the kids and pets ride in the back but jail? C’mon. Show a little decency. Have a heart. Now the family is torn apart….probably all over the state, sad, broke, dejected. Nice. Nice way to spend the holidays.

  • Wing Nut

    I understand that they were just doing what they felt they had to do for their family. But getting caught was so much better than opening the truck after a long day of driving to find your family in the back of the truck poisened because of the carbon monoxide. With my husband recently unemployed I understand feeling like you have to do anything within your power to find a job and get the bills paid, but it’s not worth losing your family over.

  • anen

    This reminds of that time when this dude called the cops on my dad/parents as he was unloading us into back of this truck (this was our only transportation we had at the time) I think he thought he was abducting us LOL

  • A

    lets see: for the safety of the children in the cab-riding hundreds of miles in a box truck; no seat belts; no heat; no fresh air; thousands of cars passing by; one unsafe driver is all it takes to hit that truck and kill those children and animals-was anyone thinking about the safety of those riding in the back? A few years back, here in the state of Indian, a bunch of men were riding in the back of an enclosed box truck-it was involved in an accident and there were fatalities….sounds like to me no one was thinking about safety. Someone needs to take care of those children-parents obviously weren’t thinking about them. Sorry….

  • jolene1961

    How can they feed and properly take care of 18 cats, and be “down on their luck?” How could they get the moving truck, don’t they require a deposit or credit card? Something isn’t right here.. sorry.

    • EMILY

      Do some peoples living of stand meaning down on their luck. Obviously means running out of money. This family may have come from an affluent neighborhood. Everyone needs to stop talking badly about them and as they say “PUt your money where you mouth is” Help these people donate some money to their cause.

  • SMDH

    As I posted to someone else on here directly… has no one considered that these people were very possibly Catholic? The large majority of christians in (in Clarion Co.) are. It’s the single largest religious denomination there. This means they could NOT use birth control. And a wife can NOT choose to abstain. Not that anything other than abstinence is 100% effective, anyway.

    Most of the rest are Protestants… who are greatly divided on the use of contraception. The two largest groups in PA believe (the first) that contraception is anathema to christian values, or that (the second group) only the natural method should be used, if any. They both believe children are all gifts from God, and a part of his divine plan… and each should be kept, loved, and cherished, regardless of the family’s ability to support them.

    What should people do if there’s an accidental pregnancy after they’ve already had an “acceptable number” of kids? Kill the extras off, or put them up for adoption because /you/ feel they have too many?

    The youngest child was nine. All of their kids were born when there was still a family income, and the economy was years from tanking.

    This person who called on them… it was an anonymous tip by someone /claiming/ to be a relative. Most likely a meddling neighbor, or someone to whom (yes, perhaps a relation) this financially-challenged family owed money. Or someone who was afraid they were coming /their/ direction to stay, whilst dad got settled into his new job.

    Though my own egg donor is just crazy enough to have “helped” in such a way, had I or my siblings been forced into such an unpleasant situation. Some families are just not close-knit. Others are flat out dysfunctional.

    How did this person know their truck? Their itinerary? How did they know exactly /which/ vehicle to tell police to target… and yet they couldn’t tell them, specifically, if there /was/ kids in the back, or not? Just that there /may/ be. Someone went to a lot of trouble to be certain they were stopped.

    And called in without giving a name. CPS demands a name, when a call is made, and assures the person calling their identity will be withheld. I’ve made such calls, before. They want the name to run a check and make certain the source is a reputable and reliable one. And they want contact information if they need to gather any more information from that particular source.

    As for the actual travel situation, the kids were not in the back unsupervised — there was a legally-recognized adult sibling with them. They had layers of heavy clothing and sleeping bags. They had two cell phones with which to communicate with their parents.

    The two kids in the cab when found were 14 and 15. Likely they were rotating the kids around, youngest to oldest, giving them each a turn (two at a time) at being up front where it was warmer, better ventilated, and where their parents could talk with them and be certain everyone in back was ok. Perhaps the parents were taking turns in back with them, as well.

    ~ Travel a bit. Hit a rest stop, restaurant, or fueling point. Have a Chinese fire drill. Everyone is shifted around, two… perhaps three… others take their place up front. Go on to the next stopping point. Do it all again. ~

    The cats (yes, I’m a cat person. Yes, I believe 18 is a /bit/ too many, when you’re running on financial empty… but it could easily have been two or three queens and a couple litters of kittens they hadn’t had a chance to give away yet, perhaps because of their age *shrug* Who of us knows?), though numerous, were apparently being taken care of, too. They were each in their own, individual carriers. There was no crowding, no reported filth. They say nothing about them being neglected or hungry.

    For that matter… neither were the children.

    They were only described as being in the back of a cold truck on a long trip. Not that the /children/ were cold. Not that they were unhappy, or ill, or scared, or anti-social, or filthy, or hungry. All ear-marks of on-going neglect and abuse.

    No, the only issue being taken, here, is that they were in the back of a chilly truck on a long trip.

    These parents didn’t cry “FOUL!” when they were found. They didn’t try to make excuses, or whine, or cry, or lie their way out of it. No, they straight-up admitted it wasn’t the best way to have gone about it. They admitted they really didn’t want to have to do it. But, they couldn’t find any other option. They just wanted their family together, financially stable. They saw this as their one last chance.

    And, now, they’re being charged with FELONY neglect. Four counts.

    They can’t afford to pay their bond. They won’t be able to get their kids back without a stable and permanent address and an income of some reliable sort. Their pets are probably going to be euthanized. At the very least, the kids are likely never going to see any of the cats, again. And, dad can kiss his new job opportunity good-bye.

    • Johnna

      Hey why dont you up your meds? No one care what religion they are. They were people down on their luck and needed help. So nice of a Family member to call the cops on them instead of helping.

      • SMDH

        Actually, I was responding to the gross number of people here who were rudely and judgmentally stating they needed to learn to use birth control. Thus my bringing up religion. I was born and raised in PA, so I’m well aware of the denominational dichotomy of the greater majority of the state, something most here are likely not. And, precisely how these religions view birth control. It was, as one might say, a verbal… or, rather, literary… “smackdown”.

        I’m sorry. Did I use too many big words for you? You seem to have abysmal reading comprehension, if you can’t understand how my revelations of religious views was pertinent to the conversations going on around us in any way, shape or form, nor did you seemingly grasp that I fully believe these people were sorely maltreated and given the short end of a truly crappy stick.

        I’ll “up [my] meds” if you take a few courses in adult literacy. Deal?

  • Johnna

    Yes, lets just deal a crushing blow to a family trying to make it in these awful times. These people need help not another stone on their backs.

  • http://webpronews.com jlong

    If you google the dad’s name, he comes as a registered child molester in Fairmount City, PA.

    • ml

      If you google my name, you come up with a registered pedophile in the state of Florida. In fact,there are 699 people in the US with my name. (But there are only 6 people with the dad’s name in the US, so you may be on to something.)

      • http://webpronews.com jlong

        I found him on offendex.com

      • http://webpronews.com jlong

        I found him in offendex.com

    • Janet

      jlong, do you have identifiers such as his date of birth, SSN, a physical description or anything to verify his identity? Or did you just google his name and make an assumption? Be careful when you throw names around.

      • shrillharpy

        Your question was answered above. Some people will twist themselves into knots to give losers the benefit of the doubt.

  • Muffy

    They didn’t have any money, so they did what they had to do. They were moving hoping for a better life. I would be 100% on the law’s side if the parents were abusive, but they’re not.

  • Robert

    If the “family member” was so concerned, why didn’t he/she offer to help by driving some their brood for them? That’s the problem with this whole country, nobody willing to help each other and then when people are desperate, we just throw them to the wind. These poor people are down and out and yes, they should have left the kids and animals behind with another family member or maybe the father should have gone out alone for the job, but what is wrong with the “family” that called this in????

    • danielle

      i agree with u

  • danielle

    whoever tipped the cops off is a jerk. they did wht they had to do . if they had tried to squeeze all 7kids up front they would had gotten pulled over for tht to so they were screwed either way. yes i understand the consequences but there was an adult present.all they were doing is trying to find a job. tht is more than we can say about 1/2 of america on foodstamps. i mean damn give the working man a break already. i pray they get their kids back and charges dropped. godbless

    • arathia

      I agree with you and why didnt they help them instead of costing them their children, their pets and a whole lot of money and time now – sometimes people have to do what they must to survive

      • judy

        Here we go again with the mythological “foodstamps” magic hand outs theory. What makes your judgemetal ass think that these bunch of yokels were not on foodstamps or worse? Think about it.

        • EMILY

          Judy how dare you come some a yokel. What makes you so good? Have you had 7 children and the responsibility to take care of them. There you go again ass u ming something you dont know anything about. I suggest you close your mouth. Dont accuse people of being of food stamps and degrading people just to make yourself look better. Get a life lo oo ser.

          • http://yahoo Guadloupe

            Have they not heard of Birth Control, free pills a PPHD. Must be illegal (wetbacks) white trash or negroes. Oh I forgot, they should have gone to Washington,DC: The Dictator would have welcomed them and given them all those yummy chitlins and collard greens.

    • Chris

      So you are justifying risking the lives of human beings (especially children)? That was a stupid decision at jump street. God forbid a family member actually make a good decision and try to save/protect those kids (and the cats to a lesser extent). So what was the adult in the back of the van going to do? Make a cell phone call to the cab after some disaster befell one of them? Yes, I agree a good job on left coast could be very nice, but not if you end up with a hospitalized or dead child on the trip. There has to be a mature system of prioritizing here with regards to the adults, and that never transpired on any level.

    • G

      I agree too. Maybe it wasn’t a good decision, but their options were limited and they were trying to get to a better place. How terrible that they are now in a worse situation. Perhaps the system could find a way to help rather than punish them!

  • royalfuzziness

    Daddy should have made arrangements to leave the kids with mom and the relatives,then he could have gone to CA, by himself to checkout the job prospects and if he found a job. When he got settled then send for mom and the kids. Remember it’s easier to take care of 1, then it is to go running across country with your whole family in tow,not even knowing if there will even be a job waiting for you when you get there. They were trying to do the right thing looking for work,they just went about it in the wrong way.


    The animal shelter that took the 18 cats is a “high-kill” shelter. The cats will be held for 4 days and then, at their discretion, will be either held for adoption, or euthanized. The family would have to pay an impounding fee to get them back. What a sad holiday season that family will have. The whistle blower was not trying to help them, just thwart their move.

  • Sarah

    The family member could have helped them, yes. They all went about it the wrong way, but at least all the kids are alive and okay. If the got carbon monoxide poisoning the parenting wouldn’t of known until they made a stop and the kids could have died. I think it would be alot worse for them loosing five of their four kinds because they made a stupid decision. So they might be in jail but their kids are safe. And hopefuuly they will get thier kids back.

  • diane

    Oh, if this family had been the Joads in the 1930’s they would have had far less trouble.

    • Amanda Hebert

      Well if the Joads tried moving to CA today, they would have been arrested just like this family.

  • Dana

    The parents should not be arrested or charged; we as a nation should be helping those who have lost their homes because the cost of living has skyrocketed while pay remains subpar & thousands have lost their jobs… Either help this family move back into their home or help them move to where the parents can find work but don’t persecute them for trying to do what was best for their family in the circumstances that this world has found so many to be in. Sometimes you just have to do what you have to do do help yourself & it seems like that is the case in this sitution. It angers me so much that so many are struggling while banks/wallstreet & ceo’s pocket off the backs of those losing everything!!!

    • Amanda Hebert

      You are 1000% correct. Instead of giving bailout money to big banks, and corporations, we should be helpng families like these put their lives back together.

  • Amanda Hebert

    With family like that who needs frenemies? If a “concerned family menber” really is the person who turned them in– SHAME ON THEM. Why didn’t they step up to help the family in the first place.

    As for the cats- now they are in a high kill shelter that only holds cats 4 days before KILLING them– POOR CATS.

    The parents are now charged as felons and the kids are in foster care– WAY TO GO COPS!!!!

    Never mind about the thieves, drug dealers, bank robbers, child molesters or rapists out there– not to mention drug dealers. Let’s CHARGE those parents for letting their kids ride in the back of an enclosed truck!

    Has anyone ever stopped to think that the eldest kid probably had a cell phone to call the parents and the kids probably had blankets and pillows to help keep them comfortable?

    As far as danger, anytime you get on the roads, with all the people texting and whatever, you are living dangerously no matter where you are riding.

  • Pam

    I understand what the parents did was wrong but what the family member did was even worst. If you are that truly concerned offer some assistance. And as for the kids being a care being considered “a safe option” this is entirely wrong as well. As a product of the child care system, I know first hand that most of these foster parents have no true regard for the children, they are in it for the money. They make you feel uncomfortable and hold resentment that you are in their life, in their home. Shame on all parties involved!

  • TMH84

    “…were taken into custody after an anonymous tip was called in to an Indiana State Police station by a concerned family member, letting them know the group was HEADING THEIR WAY from Pennsylvania.”
    SO, this “family member” decided to just call the cops and get rid of the whole family (jail, child services, animal shelter) than to actually help them when they got there. Guess they figured they’d just take care of the problem another way. Nice family…sorry mf’s!!!

  • TMH84

    “…were taken into custody after an anonymous tip was called in to an Indiana State Police station by a concerned family member, letting them know the group was HEADING THEIR WAY from Pennsylvania.”
    SO, this “family member” decided to just call the cops and get rid of the whole family (jail, child services, animal shelter) than to actually help them when they got there. Guess they figured they’d just take care of the problem another way. Nice family…sorry mf’s!!!

  • BR

    On board with most of the people here. The process was misguided, and they seem to have a ton of animals, *but* they did care enough to pack up all the cats with their family and were seeking work! The intentions were good. I feel they must have been in a desperate situation and likely had no funds to fly the family and hire movers. Driving kids in the back of the van isn’t abusive, or even neglectful, and I am someone who tends to be pretty critical of parenting. They likely were just out of options.
    And yes, the family member who turned them in is absolutely awful. It’s tragic that these kids are in the system now, the parents are in jail, and the cats are likely in a kill shelter.

  • http://webpronews.com jlong

    I found him at offendex.com

  • lynda

    I work in a bar and have people there who brag about the link card and and you have a familey and a man trying to do the right looking for work Im lost here. He maybe made a mistake but common hes doing his best

  • jennifer

    maybe the relative that snitched on him should have tried to lend a helping hand to their family instead of just getting all the kids taken into custody. family is really all you have in this world. this economy sucks, there are no jobs, we are all on the brink of chaos. this man was at least trying to keep his family together and go where there was a hint of work to provide for his kids. i probably would have done the same in his situation.

  • nika

    I agree with Jennifer and Lynda

  • Deborah

    I agree with Jennifer. This relative was probably afraid they were coming to his house and didn’t want them there and for that an entire family is pretty much destroyed. Listen closely, “family” member; you don’t realize how easily this could be you next time. Karma is a real bitch.

  • http://www.robincompton.com robin lee

    First of all, let’s give credit to the parents who tried to do something for their own family instead of simpley giving up… Yes, it was cold in the back of that truck and no inside heat. But, how many people recently had no heat, water or basic supplies from Hurricane Sandy ? Our State and Federal folks didn’t really give a crap about people being without power and the comfort of heat at that time period… Yes, there were shelters set up, but was very slow in getting aid to many people… Now, what did people do back in the day during horse & buggy and families moved across this country with a thin cover drapped over a wagon and survived ? The major hazard I saw was those fuel cans sitting in the back of that truck… (That was unwise). However, at least they had blankets, covers and etc… I hope the Judge takes into consideration that this family was down on their luck and was trying to do something to bring themselves up… How many people are homeless now because of this recession ???

  • Jenny Canuck

    Does it occur to anyone that the “concerned relative”
    might have been the adult child in the back of the moving van,
    worrying about the younger kids, the cats, and the jerrycans
    of fuel?

  • lisa b

    When I think of carbon monoxide I think of that type of thing occuriong in homes with gas ranges and a running car in a closed garage. i never knew of the danger of that in the back of a moving van. I really do not think that the parents knew that either. The parents were doing the best that they could. Instead of arresting the parents, law enforcement should have initiated a random act of kindness as the police officer in new york and helped this family. When you have no money and very limited resources you have do the best that you can and this was their best. What would it have hurt the police to rent a van for them to get to california and then provide them some food. Shame on them and why bring this family down in the media and call them stupid. My Prayers and Blessings to the family. How can I reach them to make a contribution to help them?

    • Richard

      Does “doing the best you can do” include taking a risk of burying 5 children and 18 other animals? I don’t think so. Also, the police are not a welfare agency.

    • Jam

      You are so right and have an amazing soul. If our society were filled with people like you we would not be in the situation we are in! God bless you….

  • John

    “The Grapes of Wrath” all over again.

  • Sara Skelly

    It cost a lot of money to pack up, move and rent a “uhaul” to drive crossc ountry. PLUS how much money is this family wasting on these 18 cats. Its not like they have to 2 cats they have 18 cats, all of which cost money to feed, litter, vet bills, including where did they get the money for 18 cat carriers. I am an animal lover but to be poor and take in 18 cats is not where this POOR faimlies priorities should be! I feel bad for the children and the animals who may have been exposed to carbon monoxide (the silent killer) The father has already been reported of negect. I cannot feel sorry for the parents.

    • Patricia Freyer

      My first impression was he is useing those cats for food.They might want to check with the neighbors and surrounding area for missing cats.

    • kat

      what do u want from these people? dang catz r already more important than the kids but, it’s an excuse for the parents bull.

  • P.Freyer

    Did those cats have something to do with his job? I dont get this picture! purr meow

    • kat

      whatz up with this pict? job, no job excuse or what?put the catz in a shelter and take care of your children!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Catherine

    All to often when pepole do stupid things out of desperation the first responce by the goverment is to punish them when what they realy need is help and guidence.

  • RonaldZuprin

    I’m guessing they held a “downsizing lottery” within the family … the 2 winners were sitting in the cab. The expendable “losers”, along with the 18 cats, got to ride in the back. Times are tough … it’s either that, or get sent off to be used in scientific experiments.

  • http://webpronews spunky

    This is a horrible situation!! i feel for the family and animals but it wasnt to safe for any of them. you dont just give up animals as they become family!! you dont throw them away that easy, not if you love animals but it really wasnt safe. compassion, where has it gone to??

  • Nikki

    At least the poor man was TRYING to make an effort to support his huge family! There are many men out there who just ditch their partner as soon as they discover that she is pregnant. This man has (sorry, HAD) 7 innocent children. At least what he was doing was in the best interest of his family.
    No matter what this couple would have done, they would have gotten into trouble in some way. He could’ve tried to sqeeze all of the kids in the front of the cab and would’ve gotten pulled over and arrested for not having seatbelts, etc. OR he could’ve placed them all on buses and risked them getting separated and it would STILL be illegal to have minors traveling accross country without a parent… I guess that the mother could have gone with them, that would have been the logical thing to do… BUT if you’re low on cash and just dished out a fortune to get across the country in a moving, then they probably did not have the money to afford other various methods of transportation. The article even states that they had no car, so this was the only logical thing that the man could probably even think of.
    As for ALL of those cats, I really don’t understand that part… I really do feel for the family (children AND parents), but all those cats? Why on Earth do they need 2 cats for every person? 18 cats and 9 people.. If you have little money, you really don’t need that many animals. They SHOULD have be worrying about using what little expenses they had to help care for, feed and clothe, their children. Also, I actually do not even think that it is legal for a person to own that many cats in the first place. They should have let some of them go, I guess not to their family though because they sure don’t seem like they truly give a crap…
    I just pray that the courts are easy on them and let them get their family back together. OR, at the very least, let the adult child have partial custody of them in the mean time until the parents are released, instead of having them in foster care, all alone and scared. I cannot imagine if this were my family. I also hope that the job that he had lined up will still take him into their company. Now that he’s been arrested, they may not. It’s actually very hard to get a job these days if you have ANY type of criminal record.

    • Nancy

      They can’t have been that poor. It takes money to feed 18 CATS.

  • Ivan GMS

    “were taken into custody after an anonymous tip was called in to an Indiana State Police station by a concerned family member, letting them know the group was heading their way from Pennsylvania.”
    What an A-hole family member. Not only did they snitch but didnt eve try to avoid this problem by offering help. They knew the family was down and they knew what was going on and instead of helping they got them in even more trouble and most likely ruined their lives even more or possibly helped ruined their lives permanently.

  • Maxi

    Instead of condemning this family for doing what they did (granted they have made poor choices)…is there a fund being set up to help them? It is the Xmas season and we should hate to see a family without a Xmas tree and food and presents for the kids. Any ideas?

  • angelic

    We go from a police man in NYC buying boots for a homeless man to dividing awhole family during sposedly the most charatable caring/loving season of the year….
    We all need help ….I pray the judge will help find a way to keep the family together and a chance to help them in some way…
    AND to the person (family) who turned them in…..where is your sence of FAMILY!!!! That was maybe Gods way of getting you to help not hinder a family.

  • Agent P

    So how does it feel to live in the ‘Snitch Society’…? I’m surprised they didn’t call out a SWAT team to apprehend these dangerous criminal parents… That this ‘incident’ even made news should tell you something. It should tell you that your Freedom and Liberty are now being (Rapidly) taken away, as opposed to a decade or two ago, ‘slowly’. Alas, this is how it happens when a nation slides into decline. We are now in the later stages and you haven’t seen Anything yet… Good luck to all of you out there that are ‘cheering’ the apprehension and likely prosecution of these parents, and what might happen to their children as a result, because when this monster comes your way, there won’t be anyone around to help You…

  • nichole

    What an asshole of this “concerned” family member ! At least they were TRYING. They didn’t ditch the kids, an they were traveling bc of a promised job ! They didn’t need more problems to add to an already bad situation. Arresting them was not the answer ! ..and screw that family member..if they were so concerned they should have been trying to help, instead they did more damage..

    • http://zeroner popzeros


    • Michelle

      That’s what I was thinking. “Gee thanks for the help!” How many people get down on their luck and are just trying to do the best they can….and make decisions that may or may not be the best one…only to have family ADD to their misery?! They didn’t dump the kids….they didn’t hurt the kids out of desperation…That family member should be ashamed of themselves – I hope they make it into the news!!!!!!!

  • angelic

    So now a donation to help them should be headed up…..I am in the same situation sorta…with out a real home from taking care of my very sick parent in another state. But I do have a roof and a job….i have kids and grandkids that count on me….but I would definately try and give some.

  • Skippy Skip

    Don’t get me wrong, I really do feel bad for the family and I’m glad the father was at least trying. And I think the relative who tipped off the police really screwed things up worse. But nine children and eighteen cats? Are you serious?

    If you can’t afford that many children, you shouldn’t have that many. I realize with the father out of work it would have been tough even with three children and one pet, people have to understand something. Children and pets are not objects, you don’t just collect them, you have to care for them. You have to love them enough to know when you just can’t take care of them all.

    I’ve seen anti-abortion people with bumper stickers that say “How Can There Be Too Many Children? That’s Like Saying There Are Too Many Flowers.” Children, pets, and yes, even flowers, require resources and nuturing, and those cost time and money. Again, I’m glad that the family stays together and at least they’re trying. But if you’re not rich, and you don’t have $100,000 set aside in case of an emergency like losing your job, you should not have that many children.

    • Terri

      @skippy skip, so when you’ve had the kids, and then you lose your job, how are you supposed to pick which kids to give up since you can’t afford them anymore? idiot…

      • Steph

        Skippy – you’re seriously an idiot. Unless you have a crystal ball that reads your future, how the hell was he to know his destiny? Seriously, it’s people like you that I just want to slap reality into…….

    • Mickey Steve

      So who died and appointed you God, Skippy Skip? Or are you standing in for the Chinese when they attempt to destroy us through Armegeddon? This all smacks of the great Socialist takeover of the free world. Word up. Jesus IS coming back shortly, so put your own house in order first.

    • Paul Ray

      Serously? And who died and gave you the right to make that kind of decision? Moron!

  • lisa b

    Many of us have made some crazy stupid and bad decisions. I have learned not to judge anyone. Life has a funny way of biting you back when you do judge people (I have learned). Karma. The father as crazy as it was took a risk but this man took responsibilty for his family and their cats. Whether society likes it or not That is his family including the pets and that is none of our business. This man was trying to get to a job. In caring for pets and working with agencies, its only $50.00 a month to feed 20 cats. Cats prevent Plagues (look up the history) and they are good rat catchers too. I love people and all animals. Yes he made a bad decision and he has learned his lesson. Do a random act of kindness.

    • Steph

      Well said, Lisa! This man was doing the only thing he could to try to keep his family off the streets. He admitted he knew it was wrong, but what other options were there? People, unless you have been in this exact situation, who the hell are you to judge? Plus, I find it VERY HONORABLE what he did with his cats. Seeing that I have 12 homeless, left behind cats that I feed on my porch, I applaud this man for at least trying.

  • Lisa

    If the family member was so concerned why didnt they keep the kids with them until the dad got the job in Cali and could send for them? that is what concerned family does, they help each other.

  • http://ms1.gotdns.com jonny rocket

    what the heck else were they suppose to eat???

  • Paul Ray

    Unwise, but honestly did they have any alternative? And arresting them is down right stupid. Police officers these days (and my Dad was one back in the 70’s) really have no sense of understanding or compromise. Shame on them.

  • Michelle

    I don’t think that the kids should have been taken away. We also don’t know if the kids would have been safe or not riding in the back. although i’m pretty sure that they would be fine. He should have all the kids in front, cats in back. With no air circulating, in’t hard to say. I think that the state should help them with the first month to relocate. It is hard having that many kids, and the parents are trying. I agree, don’t nark, but people should have a heart to try and help with what they can, not to make it worse. I pray they get thier kids back soon.

    • laura

      indiegogo has set them up a fund, my link is waiting for moderation here.
      it’s called help this family and their cats

  • Renee

    I am truly surprised at the empathy this family is getting online (there are many sites reporting on this story and comments following). I figured people would be asking for the parents to fry or something. Maybe it’s the holiday season? There are two funds set up to help this family, google some of the other stories to find the links, I would make sure they are legit for sure!
    We can’t judge their financial situation for taking their 18 cats (all in cat carriers btw). Perhaps they sold eveerything they own, leaving money for the truck, some food, gas and cat litter/cat food, and the cell phones. About the number of kids, who knows what jobs were held over the last 19 years of this marriage. When I lost my job, our household income went down by 67%, we lost everything. And Skippy Skip my 401K, pension and savings went to continue services for our child with Autism. Our services are not cut by 80% not covered by insurance and the county funds the rest. Sorry ya’ll but its the hard reality out there. This family should spend the holidays at the White House, not jail. Lets see how Mr. Obama can move them ‘FORWARD’.

  • cieme

    The family is down on their luck and trying to get cross country for a promised job. So they get stopped,their kids and their pets taken away and the parents may go to jail. These people need help getting back on their feet. At least they seemed to be trying to hold their family together. What ever happened to “do unto others as you would have them do unto you?”

  • gary

    This does not fly with me.

    18 Cats. If they are so down on their luck how are they caring for 18 cats. Who has 18 cats? And I do not care what the sad story is you do not put your kids in the back of a moving van for a cross country trip in the cold and possible carbon monoxide. I know allot of people in this thread are somehow empathetic with them but this is simply poor decision making. I do not think they should never see their kids again but maybe they temporarily need a break and get their life straight. I hope they learned from this and get reunited with their kids. They do not sound like an evil couple but they need some lesson in derision making.

  • http://www.linkedin.com/pub/robert-reid/36/4b8/b48 Robert Reid

    Taking a snapshot in time about this families hard luck will lead to a lot of unfair assumptions and judgements. This is a difficult situation across the board. While many would like to have seen more compassion from the State Police the fact is our litigious society does not permit it. Had the officers not arrested and placed charges and the parents turned around the next day to do the same thing the officers would have likely lost their jobs and been sued. I cannot say what efforts to prevent this matter were taken by the family member, about whom some refer to as the snitch; nevertheless, whatever led up to the bad decissions at the time of arrest the actions taken were necessary for the protection of the minors who were the most likely to suffer consecquence of faulty decission making. As bad as the situation is, it is far better than getting down the road and getting into a tragic accident or having the kids die from carbon monoxide. The opportunity now ids for a community to help lift this family from the depths of their disparring situation. That action is far better than sitting back and throwing stones.

    • lisa b

      I agree. It is nice to see the caring, compassion you and others have posted on this site regarding this family. You are sooo right. It is amazing how people sit back and throw stones. Hats off to you Robert and the other compassionate commenters.

  • Dave

    I am very pleasantly surprised as the outpouring of supportive comments on this article, instead of the usual negativity that so many people feel the need to spread. I applaud this man for trying to do what he felt was necessary to improve life for his family. I’m so sorry that he was arrested for it. Remember, 40 years ago there was nothing wrong with this. Did it all of a sudden become deplorable.

    • http://yahoo.com Twila Davis

      I agree.

  • Bruce

    That was a dumb ass move, period. 18 cats, seriously. I would have sold all those mangy felines for some cash. On another note, where is all that money they spent on this presidential election and recent powerball? They could use the help, as everybody else living under minimum wage!!!

    • http://yahoo.com Twila Davis

      When you have all those kids, why do you need even one pet? can you imagine what they spend on catfood?

  • Martha

    I hurt for this family. You know every last dollar was spent by them on this move for what amounts to a mere promise of a job. The fact that they were moving 18 cats with them tells me that their hearts are bigger than their wallet and they couldn’t bear to leave any part of their little family behind. Now everyone’s scattered to the wind all because they took a shot at improving their lot in life. And here I am…wondering what can be done in their behalf?

    • Kevin

      Martha, it’s like you read my mind. I moved my family to Tennessee in much the same fashion. 6 people and 4 dogs piled into a small SUV. I wish I had more info so I could help those guys out.

      • Cindy Balzomo

        The local Salvation army is appratly collecting donations. This would be the best bet

  • marvin nubwaxer

    before they continue onward at least leave the 18 cats at the animal shelter.

  • Kevin

    I spent a good chunk of my youth in the back of my dad’s pick-up. I can’t believe these brainless morons would break up a family over this. That is heartbreaking. Child Protective Services???? What a bunch of criminals. Professional Child Abusers is what they are. This family is NOT better off now.

  • http://Yahoo Dave

    Now I understand the true meaning of “California or Bust”
    Something good always comes comes out of something bad. I hope the family finds their something good real soon.

  • alain smithee

    Thanks to an inflexible and rigid applicaton of the law, these parents age going to be felons, which is going to markedly interfere with their ability to support themsleves and their chilren.

    If the local prosecutor has any compassion at all, he will strike a plea deal for misdemeanors.

    This will send the message that this type of behavior is unacceptiable under our current laws while avoiding making the parents into felons that will interfere with their ability to get and hold a job to support themselves and their children.