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Dogs sat in backseat as couple put kids in the trunk for 900-mile road trip, cops say

Michael Fee and Amber Freudenstein pleaded guilty to putting their two children in the trunk and their two dogs in the backseat during a 900-mile road trip from Arizona to Wyoming. They got 30 days jail time.
Michael Fee and Amber Freudenstein pleaded guilty to putting their two children in the trunk and their two dogs in the backseat during a 900-mile road trip from Arizona to Wyoming. They got 30 days jail time. Casper Police Department

During a 900-mile road trip from Arizona to Wyoming, a couple put two German shepherds in the back seat and the two children in the trunk, police say. Now they face jail time.

After 63-year-old Michael Fee and 31-year-old Amber Freudenstein arrived in Casper, Wyoming, with the children — the oldest born in 2008 — police say someone alerted a deputy about how they traveled, according to the Casper Star-Tribune.

Then, police say, Freudenstein confessed to putting the children in the trunk, although she said one of the children moved to the front passenger floorboards during a stop in Utah, according to the Casper Star-Tribune. The other child, she told police, stayed in the trunk.

That trip happened on Dec. 4, police say, according to the Oil City News. Fee and Freudenstein pleaded guilty Thursday to two charges of child endangerment and now face 30 days in jail.

U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) statistics show that more than 700,000 children are referred to child protective agencies as a result of abuse or neglect in the U.S. each year.

As he appeared before Circuit Judge Steven Brown in Natrona County Circuit Court, Fee said he was just trying to make the best decision possible during the trip, according to K2 Radio.

“We traveled up here and didn’t have room for everybody in the car,” Fee said in court, according to K2 Radio. “I tried to make things as safe as I could for them. They were in the trunk of my car.”

Fee added that “it wasn’t anything malicious,” according to the Casper Star-Tribune.

Instead, Fee argued in court, he and Freudenstein wanted to see family members and “took a chance” by putting the kids in the trunk, according to The Oil City News.

“I’m just grateful that nothing happened,” Fee said, according to K2 Radio. “Nothing disastrous or anything.”

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