A 4-year-old girl is left inside a car towed by police and somehow survives a freezing night in the unheated car.
The young girl was traveling with her mother and 10-month-old sibling on Monday. Her mother was arrested at 10:30 pm on suspicion of drunk driving on South 39th Street and West Forest Home Avenue.
At the time of the arrest, the police removed the 10-month-old child from the car but somehow missed the little girl. The minivan was towed to a lot on 3800 block of West Lincoln Avenue. The vehicle was checked from the outside with a flashlight at the tow lot as per police protocol however, the girl was still not seen.
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The temperatures dropped as low as 19 degrees that night. The girl was trapped inside an unheated vehicle in the frigid lot.
Ten hours later, a tow lot worker heard the girl crying and discovered her inside the minivan. She was rushed to the hospital immediately after being discovered.
Luckily, she was unscathed. Somehow the 4-year-old managed to survive the night without freezing and was determined healthy by the hospital.
According to police protocols, this incident should not have happened. A copy of the Milwaukee Police Department's guidelines regarding towed vehicles states that "all towed vehicles shall be thoroughly searched for items of apparent value. The inventory search should be conducted at the scene prior to the tow, but may be conducted at the impoundment lot or some other location if circumstances dictate."
The Milwaukee Public Works Commissioner-nominee Jeff Polenske said, "None of us want to have any of this ever happen again," Polenske said. "So whatever it is we can do, we will be doing, definitely, to make sure there isn't a person in a vehicle that we're parking in our tow lot."
Facebook users who read about the story were furious that this could happen. Many took to the comments to berate both the police and the girl's mother for neglecting to carry out their duties and protect the young girl.
In a similar story, a mother in Sanford went on a liquor run with three of her children in the car. She forgot her three-year-old in the car when they got back home and only took the older two children into the house.
The child was forgotten in the car overnight in extremely hot temperatures. The next morning the Seminole County Sheriff’s Office were called to the Vista Haven Apartments in the 200 block of Petunia Terrace in unincorporated Sanford before noon the next day. The report claimed the 3-year-old was missing in a vehicle that was possibly stolen.
Deputies found the near-lifeless child inside the car in the parking lot of the apartment complex with no airconditioning nor open windows to keep her cool. She was rushed to the hospital and is expected to make a full recovery.
"I just can’t see any mother that’s a responsible mother to not know your kid’s in the car, especially all night," said Brenda Johnson who was their neighbour