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Wisconsin Girl, 4, Spends Night in Impounded Minivan After Mother Is Arrested

By Zachary Stieber

A 4-year-old girl was left inside of a minivan that was impounded after her mother was arrested for drunken driving, officials said.

The mother was pulled over and arrested for operating a vehicle while intoxicated late on Nov. 12, in Milwaukee.

Police officers removed a 10-month-old child from the vehicle but the girl wasn’t removed.

She spent the night in the impounded vehicle and wasn’t discovered until 8:30 a.m. the next day, about eight hours after the minivan arrived at the tow lot, when employees at the lot heard her crying, Public Works Commissioner nominee Jeff Polenske told reporters at a news conference.

“This is something that none of us would like to have happen to any of our children,” he said, reported Fox 6. “As a father of three, this is something that—very upsetting to me personally and certainly upsetting to all that were involved with this.”

Firefighters responded to the scene and checked the girl for immediate harm. She was later rushed to the hospital.

Temperatures dipped as low as 19 degrees Fahrenheit on Monday night in the area.

‘She’s in Good Spirits’

Officials said that the van was inspected when it arrived at the city’s tow lot, but the worker only walked around the outside with a flashlight and didn’t spot the girl.

Family members said the child was sleeping and seems to be okay.

“I’m frustrated right now because I’m trying to figure out why the whole van wasn’t searched,” Dynasty Davis, the girl’s great aunt, told Fox 6. “She’s in good spirits, coloring, eating good, being a child.”

Police to Charge Mother

Polenske said that the city will work to make sure nothing like this will happen again.

“We want to make sure it never happens again. If there’s something more that we can be doing, more thorough exam of that vehicle, we will be doing that in the future,” he said, reported TMJ.

Meanwhile, the Milwaukee Police Department didn’t comment on how officers took one child into custody but missed the other. The department did say in a statement that it’s seeking charges against the mother.

“The Milwaukee Police Department is grateful that the child was located unharmed. MPD is currently seeking criminal charges against the driver who was arrested for Operating While Intoxicated. We will provide additional information in the upcoming days regarding this investigation,” Milwaukee police said in a statement.