The child of a Mississippi police officer died on Friday after being locked in a patrol car for four hours. 3-year-old Cheyenne Hyer was kept in the back of her mother’s police car while she visited another officer, according to KTLA.
Hyer’s mother, Cassie Barker, was fired from her position with the Long Beach Police Department and is being investigated after her daughter’s death, The Sun Herald reports. Sergeant Chuck Ladner, whose home Barker was visiting, has also been fired.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. The Child Was Kept in the Car for Four Hours
3-year-old Cheyenne Hyer, daughter of Officer Cassie Barker, died tragically in her mother’s police car on Friday. According to WTKR, police believe that the girl was trapped in the car for approximately four hours before she was found.
2. Both Officers Were Off-Duty at the Time
According to WTKR, police believe that Cheyenne was left in the back of the police car while her mother was visiting the home of another officer Clark Ladner. Both officers were off-duty at the time.
3. The Two Police Officers Were Fired & a Criminal Investigation Remains Underway
Both Cassie Barker and Clark Ladner were initially put on administrative leave, but were then fired, according to Glenn Grannon of the sheriff’s department. WLOX writes, “Investigators believe Cassie Barker was visiting another officer at his home when she left her child in a patrol car for around four hours. Ladner’s neighbors say they’re stunned.”
Kiln resident Betsy Nugent told WLOX, “In our small community, it really bothers all of us parents as to something like this. It’s devastating.”
No criminal charges have been filed, but the case remains under investigation.
4. The Air Conditioning Was on in the Car, but the Girl Still Overheated
The official cause of death is still unclear. However, according to WTKR, police believe that the child overheated, despite the fact that the air conditioning was left running in the car.
5. Investigators Are Looking Into Whether Barker’s Child Was Taken Away by DHS In the Past
WLOX writes, “Hancock County Sheriff’s investigators are looking into a prior incident involving Barker having her child taken away by DHS.” Hancock County Sheriff Ricky Adam added on, “We are looking into some possible previous allegations. It is an active investigation. It hasn’t been determined which way we will go, but it doesn’t look good. We’ll see which way the evidence takes us.”
Autopsy reports are set to be released later this week.