Five-year-old girl left on daycare van, saves own life

MILWAUKEE -- A five-year-old girl was left in a daycare van, in bitter cold temperatures, and little Deja Carter saved her own life!

The night was not only cold, but long for Carter's mom, Timica Campbell. She was waiting for the daycare van to bring her five-year-old daughter home. One hour went by, and then another. Campbell says she made dozens of calls and texts to the Quality Daycare Company near 43rd and Bradley, but got no response. It turns out, the little girl fell asleep in the van, and the driver parked it, and went home.

Five-year-old Carter woke up on the van near 42nd and Silver Spring, where the driver lives. She was cold and scared, and got out of the van, and started knocking on doors. At the first house, the door was slammed in her face. At the second house, no one was home. At the third house, the little girl got help. They took her to McDonald's and then called police.

"Around 10:30, my doorbell rang. It was an officer and he asked me if I was Deja Carter's mom. My heart dropped. I asked, 'what's wrong with my baby?'" Campbell said.

Carter was safe at Milwaukee Police District Four. The little girl is still upset as she talked about it with her dad. She says she realized she needed to get out of the van when no one was there, and it was cold, and says she was crying.

Campbell and Carter's dad say they're thankful for the people who helped their little girl. They say they know what could have been. "She's only five years old, and she was walking the streets, going door-to-door," Campbell said.

Carter is no longer missing, but it's clear the memory and fear of being left alone on a dark street is still with her.

Milwaukee Police Sensitive Crimes Department is investigating this incident. FOX6 called Quality Daycare twice Thursday to get their side of the story, and both times, they hung up.