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Milwaukee Police: Missing 4-year-old child found, father arrested for falsely reporting abduction

Posted at 1:04 PM, Dec 12, 2017

MILWAUKEE (AP) -- Milwaukee police say the father of a 4-year-old girl reported missing has been arrested for making a false report.

Police reported the child was in a vehicle that was stolen from a neighborhood near 25th and Becher Tuesday morning. Police found the vehicle, but not the child, near 95th and Brown Deer. That prompted police to begin the process of creating an Amber Alert.

Soon after, police located the child safe at school and said the abduction was falsely reported by the child's father, who was arrested.

"He said that someone had jumped in the car and took off in it," said Deatre McNeal, who is dating the child's father.

She says her boyfriend was driving his friend's car, that's registered in Virginia. When he left it running to warm up outside a house, someone jumped in and stole it.

McNeal says he told police his daughter was in the car because he wanted them to take the report seriously.

"I’m guessing just to get his friend's car back," McNeal said.

Even after nearly three hours of searching and while police were creating the Amber Alert, McNeal says neither she nor her boyfriend told police the girl was at school.

"I knew the little girl was at school," she said. "They could of asked me, I would have told them told them the truth."

When asked if she could have volunteered that information, she responded that she could have but didn't think it was her place.

She says she's angry with her boyfriend for lying in the first place.

"It could have been avoided, it could have just been the truth told and that’s it," she said. "He could have been home. It’s my day off, I didn’t expect all of this to happen. I’m very upset honestly."

Police say the investigation is ongoing.