Milton man charged with leaving toddler daughter in freezing car overnight

TACOMA -- Michael Anthony Dufour, 29, of Milton, was charged Wednesday with criminal mistreatment and abandonment of a dependent person for leaving his infant daughter overnight in a freezing car at his Milton home.

Dufour was also charged with possession of methamphetamine. He pleaded not guilty and is being held in the Pierce County Jail in lieu of $100,000 bail.

The Pierce County Prosecutor's Office said that at about 8:30 a.m. on Saturday, Milton Police received a report of a child left alone inside a car. When an officer arrived at the home, he saw the car backed into the driveway with the windows down. The temperature was 26 degrees.

Dufour, who was not wearing pants or underwear, was standing in the home’s doorway holding the baby girl. She was naked, extremely red and lethargic, the prosecutor's office said.

The 15-month-old girl was taken to the hospital for treatment. She was suffering from hypothermia and had frostbite on her hands and feet, the prosecutor's office said.

When the officer looked inside the home, he saw that it was cluttered with toys and garbage. Dufour told the officer that he is a clean person, so someone must have broken into the home and ransacked it, the office said.

While interviewing Dufour, police said they found 3.2 grams of methamphetamine in his pocket. Dufour said the drug was not his and the girl's mother was trying to set him up.