Photo: Jon Cherry/Getty Images
A state woman missing and severely disabled Washington resident found safe after spending nine days alone inside a vehicle in a trailer lot amid near-freezing temperatures, police said Tuesday.
“We are extremely relieved that we were able to locate and rescue the victim. If it weren’t for the efforts of our officers and the support of King County Sheriffs and Firefighters, this incident would likely have ended in tragedy,” said Kent Police Chief Rafael Padilla.
According to the Kent Police Department, an officer received a missing person report on February 14.
A woman, who claimed her severely disabled 28-year-old adult sister had not been seen since earlier this month.
The police investigation determined that the disabled sister was last seen on February 5, after her 45-year-old mother parked her vehicle at a petrol station in Kent and drove away, leaving her daughter inside the car.
Then, the vehicle was privately towed to a lot in Burien, about 10 miles away, at the request of gas station staff, police said. Officers contacted the towing company, who found the missing woman inside the vehicle.
“She had been alone inside the car for nine days in the towing yard during near freezing weather”, the police said in a statement.
Bonafacio Pauza, general manager of towing company, Skyway Towing and Recovery, told Seattle’s KING-TV that the police call led them to double-check a 2004 Cadillac that had been towed from a gas station for nine days. before.
They sent a driver who unlocked the Cadillac and found the missing woman in the backseat with a “lot of clothes and stuff on her.”
“Whoever it was that called us and said, ‘Please search the car,’ they saved his life,” Pauza said.
After police called for medical help, King County Sheriff’s deputies and fire personnel arrived at the tow yard and found the woman in serious condition.
She was transported to a local hospital for treatment, police said.
“(I’m) happy the lady is alive,” Pauza told FOX 13 Seattle. “I’ve been in this industry for over 30 years, and this is the first time I’ve seen it. It has never happened before.”
The manager of Skyway Towing and Recovery told Seattle’s KING-TV that the police call led them to check a 2004 Cadillac that was towed from a gas station nine days earlier.
Detectives continue to investigate the circumstances of the incident, according to police.
Kent is about 18 miles southwest of Seattle.
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