Parents in court after children found in box truck

Rebecca and David Detjen

A Pennsylvania couple pleaded not guilty in a Henry County courtroom Friday to charges of child neglect. David and Rebecca Detjen were charged after state police found five of their children riding in the back of an unheated moving truck.

Police stopped the truck near New Castle Wednesday night.

David Detjen and his wife Rebecca told police they were headed to California to find work. Children from ages 9 to 17 were in the back of the truck along with boxes, appliances, and 18 cats.

The children's father told police he knew putting the kids in the back of the truck was a bad idea, but it was a last resort.

The Henry County Sheriff says he's gotten calls from Hoosiers to help this family. Other parents told us they felt for the Pennsylvania parents but couldn't understand their decision.

The children are in protective care, but could be reunited with family in Pennsylvania.

A public defender was assigned to handle the couple's case. The next hearing will be held in February 2013.