Girl, 4, alive after being left overnight inside towed minivan in Milwaukee

MILWAUKEE -- A 4-year-old girl is alive after she was left inside a minivan that had been towed to a lot owned by the city of Milwaukee Monday night.

No one would want to spend a night inside a frigid car, much less a 4-year-old scared little girl who was found when a worker heard her crying 10 hours later, reports WISN.

"Very upsetting to me personally and certainly upsetting to all that were involved with this," said Milwaukee Public Works Commissioner-nominee Jeff Polenske.

The head of the department of public works which oversees the lot, explained the girl was inside a minivan towed from 39th and Forest Home around 10:30 p.m. Monday. Her mom was arrested there for drunk driving.

Police removed a baby from the minivan but missed the 4-year-old girl. Police are required to check any towed vehicle for "items of value."

Instead, the girl was inside as the van was towed to the lot. A required check at the tow lot from the outside using a flashlight also missed the girl. The DPW can't explain how that happened.

"It could be that the child was sleeping somewhere within the vehicle that was not easily seen from just walking around, but this morning the child was found towards the front of the vehicle," Polenske said.

She was crying, but otherwise seemed OK after spending about 10 hours inside the unheated car as temperatures dipped to 19 degrees.

"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."