MILWAUKEE (AP) — The body of a 17-year-old Milwaukee boy was found inside an SUV four days after the vehicle was towed to a city-owned lot following a crash, authorities said.
Milwaukee police officers who were called Monday morning to the lot saw the teen’s body on the floor of the SUV’s rear portion, police said in a statement.
The boy’s cause of death is being investigated by the Milwaukee County Medical Examiner’s Office, while the Milwaukee Police Department and the city’s Department of Public Works will investigate the circumstances that resulted in the youth’s body not being initially found in the SUV, police said.
The SUV, which police suspected was stolen, was towed to the lot last Thursday after it was severely damaged when it crashed into a tree. That crash injured a 16-year-old boy who had been driving the vehicle and he was taken into custody, police said.
The incident marks the third time since 2018 that city personnel left someone in a car that was eventually towed away, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported.
In January 2018, an 8-year-old girl spent a freezing night alone inside a van that was towed away after her mother was arrested during a traffic stop. A tow lot attendant found the girl the next morning after hearing her crying.
The girl’s family sued the city and reached a settlement last year in which her family was paid $50,000.
In January 2022, Milwaukee’s fire chief apologized for his department’s failure to find the body of a 21-year-old woman in a vehicle that was towed away after being involved in a fiery crash.