Disabled Woman Missing for Nine Days Found Inside Car at Tow Yard

A disabled woman spent nine days inside a car before she was found in a Washington State tow yard, according to police.

Local police said they were contacted by a woman on February 14 who reported her "severely disabled" adult sister had not been seen since earlier this month.

A Kent Police Department (KPD) spokesperson said in a Tuesday Facebook post the patrol officer who responded to the call later learned the disabled woman was last seen on February 5.

The statement said the woman's mother, a 45-year-old woman from Kent, had left her parked vehicle at a gas station and walked off, leaving her daughter in the car.

A KPD spokesperson added: "Kent police officers determined, through investigation, that the vehicle had been privately towed, at the request of the gas station personnel to a lot in Burien." Burien lies just south of Seattle.

Officers then contacted the tow company, who then found the woman inside the vehicle. Police added she had been in the car "for nine days alone in the tow yard during near-freezing weather."

A KPD spokesperson said a request was made for medical aid after the woman was found to be in a "serious medical condition" and that she was transported to a nearby hospital for treatment.

KPD Chief Rafael Padilla said in the Facebook statement: "We are extremely relieved that we were able to locate and rescue the victim.

"If not for the efforts of our Officers and the support of King County Sheriffs and Fire, this incident would likely have ended in tragedy."

Bonafacio Pauza of Skyway Towing in Burien, said when they were called about the woman, it led them to check over the 2004 Cadillac they had towed from the gas station nine days before.

Pauza told NBC affiliate King 5: "Whoever it was that called us and said 'please search the car,' they saved her life."

He added: "We sent one of our drivers out, he unlocks the car and had to go through it. She was laying in the backseat and had a whole bunch of clothes and stuff on top of her."

Kent police detectives said they are continuing to investigate the circumstances surrounding the incident.

Newsweek has contacted the KPD for comment.

According to the Washington State Patrol Missing and Unidentified Persons Unit (MUPU), all missing persons need to be reported to the primary law enforcement agency where the person was last seen first before any assistance from the MUPU can begin.

People wanting to alert police to a missing child in Washington State are encouraged to call 1-800-543-5678 or email mpu@wsp.wa.gov to request assistance.

Stock image of a police car. A woman was trapped in the car for nine days, in freezing conditions. Getty Image