The investigation into the death of a 3-year-old toddler who died after being left alone in a hot patrol car for four hours has resulted in two Mississippi officers being fired, one of whom is the mother of the dead toddler. When Cheyenne Hyer was eventually discovered in the hot car, she was unresponsive, and the fault lay with her mother, Officer Cassie Barker.
It was on Friday that Cheyenne Hyer was left unattended in her mother’s patrol car while the officer went to visit with a superior. The Inquisitr wrote that the 27-year-old officer had spent about four hours with her 36-year-old Sergeant, Clark Ladner and after investigating the death of the little girl the Long Beach Board of Aldermen gave a unanimous vote to fire both of the officers.
Before the end of the investigation and the announcement that the two Missouri officers would be fired, they had both been suspended without pay since Friday though initial reports that the officers were on paid leave had angered many.
Reports revealed that allegedly Cassie Barker had turned up unannounced at the home of Sergeant Clark Ladner right after he had just arrived. Both officers had just finished a patrol together when Barker visited her shift supervisor. Ladner maintains that he had not known that the little girl had been in the car during the time he was with her mother. Cheyenne Hyer had been left strapped into her car seat in the hot patrol car, though it had been left running.
When Cheyenne was discovered after the four hours, she was reportedly unresponsive, and though she was taken to the hospital she was later pronounced dead there.
Hancock County Chief Deputy Don Bass Clarion-Ledger that Barker and Ladner were friends but declined to fuel the rumors that there was more between the two Mississippi officers and had been using their off-duty time to be intimate.
“I’m not tiptoeing around it, but we just started the interviews this morning, and I’m not aware of what his interview has consisted of as far as that question. She was there visiting him. I can’t speculate on anything more.”
Chief Wayne McDowell recommended that the officers be immediately terminated and reports indicate that the reason cited for the end of their time with the department is a violation of department policies which led to conduct detrimental to the public. The research did reveal, however, that the police department does have specific rules which prohibit officers from having family members in patrol cars unless they are in the middle of commuting to work or being dropped off at childcare.
Though no criminal charges have been filed against either officer the Hancock County Chief Investigator, Glenn Grannan spoke to the media on Tuesday about the hot car death and said that “somebody is going to be accountable for the baby’s death.” The chief maintained that there was nothing discovered in the investigation which would absolve Cassie Barker from being “held accountable in some way under the guidelines of Mississippi’s criminal code.” He said that all information would have to be examined before they proceeded any further, however, and the autopsy results had not returned as yet.
Civil service protection means that Officer Cassie Barker and Sergeant Clark Ladner have 10 days to appeal the decision to terminate them from the police force.
Cheyenne Hyer’s father Ryan lived in Florida after he and Barker split and was heartbroken to hear of his little girl’s death, especially since it occurred in her mother’s hot patrol car. Hyer has set up a GoFundMe account to raise money for burial costs. He writes on the page that Cheyenne was a wonderful girl who did not deserve this.
[Featured Image by Ryan Hyer/GoFundMe]