Strangers offer aid to couple charged with neglect after police found kids in box truck

David, Rebecca Detjen arrested Wednesday

HENRY COUNTY, Ind. - People from across the country are offering financial assistance to the couple charged with neglect after police found five of their children in the back of a moving truck.

David Detjen, 41, and his 40-year-old wife Rebecca each pleaded not guilty to a single count of felony neglect Friday, but even before they appeared in court, someone had offered to post their $10,000 bond.

"While I was in the jail here, I got a phone call from Ohio. A guy expressed his interest in getting them out of jail and wanted to know how he could do it," said Josh Sroufe, with Goodwin Bail Bonding. "I asked him if he knew the family and he said no. He read about it on the Internet and wanted to help if he could."

The Detjens' plight has drawn national interest since their arrest Wednesday night when state police found five of their seven children locked inside the back of an unheated, rented box truck.

The family, down on their luck, had packed their belongings for a cross-country trip from western Pennsylvania to California.

That the Detjen case has generated sympathy hasn't escaped the attention of the man who's charged them with a crime.

"America is a great place, and if people want to support them, I guess that's their right," said Henry County Prosecutor Joe Bergacs.

If the Detjens and their seven children can weather this latest crisis in their lives, it will come from the hands and the kindness of strangers.

"I spoke to a lady this morning in West Virginia who experienced the same situation," said Sroufe. "She said she had been homeless. She's not homeless now, has her own business and her own home, but claims the county took her only child away from her. She felt it was wrong and she's taken the position if she can help, she wants to."

The Detjens' seven children are in Department of Child Services custody.

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