Two Mississippi police officers Cassie Barker and Clark Ladner were placed on administrative leave after Barker left her daughter in her squad CAR for 4 hours, resulting in her death. Cassie Barker, the mother of 3-year-old Cheyenne Hyer, reportedly left the toddler in a cruiser Friday afternoon for four hours.
Reports said the car was running and the air conditioner was on when police found the girl unresponsive in the hot car. She was transported to the hospital but later died.
According to The Sun Herald, Barker was visiting another officer, Clark Ladner, at the time that she left her child alone in the car.
Long Beach Police Chief Wayne McDowell said a tragic sequence of events was set off after Long Beach police officer Cassie Barker ended her patrol shift at 6 a.m. on Friday, then reportedly drove to visit colleague Clark Ladner with her young child in the car.
By the time emergency officials were called to the scene, Cheyenne was unresponsive.
Hancock County Coroner Jim Faulk told The Washington Post. Paramedics worked for 40 minutes “trying to do everything in the world to SAVE her,”
Officer Barker, the child’s mother, was reportedly hospitalized after the incident “in shock,”
According to the Sun Herald, Ladner said he didn’t know the little girl was in the car during Barker’s visit and that Barker didn’t show any form of urgency or mention that her child was in the car. Both officers were both off-duty during the incident.
Cheyenne’s father Ryan Hyer told the Clarion Ledger that he raised Cheyenne with Barker for the first two years of her life while the couple were still together, but when they broke up, he moved away and didn’t see Cheyenne at all.
Barker recently had to go through the state Department of Human Services to regain Cheyenne after a separate incident.
“I lost all feeling. I couldn’t speak, I couldn’t breathe Then I was flat out crying. After that I just was angry, and I went in the backyard and started beating up the shed”.
Hancock County Chief Deputy Don Bass said there is no logical reason for Barker to have done what she did. He said:
“It’s not an accident. She left the child in the CAR. We hear and read about this, it seems like quite often recently. It seems more than ever that people are leaving their infants and small children in the car to do tasks and shopping.”
There are no charges as of yet, but Bass said that he expects Barker would be charged with negligent homicide.