To Tiffani Lee, there were several things wrong with this picture: a little girl was walking down a sidewalk by herself, wearing mismatched shoes and not enough clothes for how cold it was.
The Milwaukee bus driver pulled over her rig and opened its folding doors. It was early morning and the temperatures hovered in the 40s.
“Where you going?” she called to the 5-year-old child. On one foot she sported a flip-flop. On the other was a tennis shoe.
The Milwaukee County Transit System bus operator led the girl onboard so she could warm up, and called for help.
A West Allis police officer responded and knelt in front of the child, asking for her address.
She lived nearby, but couldn’t remember her house number. So the cop gently took her hand as she led him to her home.
“I’m a parent, so I knew no parent would let their child be outside in that kind of weather with a flip-flop and a tennis shoe, no way, “Lee told WISN-TV.
The little girl had managed to sneak out of her house last week without waking anyone.
She was supposed to go the mall in the coming days on a shoe-shopping trip.
“I promised to get her some shoes that weekend, and I think she had it on her mind,” her aunt, Cheryl Wentland, told the station. "She always says, 'Wait for you by the bus stop.'"
The child’s disappearance frightened her family, and couldn't have been more relieved to have her back safely.
“That tore me up... so bad,” Wentland said.