Ryan Hyer left a court hearing Tuesday determined to do what he could to keep alive the memory of what happened to his 3-year-old daughter.
Hyer was about to head back home to Florida when he decided to stop at local businesses to see if they would allow him to post stickers that call for justice for his daughter, Cheyenne Hyer.
“In a week or two, it won’t be in the news anymore,” Hyer said. “People will forget. I don’t want that to happen with Cheyenne. She deserves more than that.”
By late Tuesday night, Hyer had posted “Justice for Cheyenne” stickers on more than 70 store fronts.
“Just about everybody was supportive,” he said. He also posted one at the Long Beach Police Department, but it was taken down not long after.
Hyer is concerned Cheyenne’s mother, former Long Beach Police Officer Cassie Barker, won’t face the type of prosecution others would in a similar case because of her law enforcement background. However, authorities arrested Barker on a charge of manslaughter in her daughter’s death.
She is accused of causing the child’s alleged hot-car death after leaving her unattended in her mother’s patrol car for nearly five hours. Cheyenne’s body temperature was 107 degrees when she was pronounced dead Sept. 30.
“My daughter suffered,” he said. “She sat in a car seat for hours. She couldn’t do anything to help herself. I can’t get that out of my head.”
Hyer stopped at fast-food restaurants and gas stations from Long Beach to Gulfport. He came to town with 200 stickers and by the late Tuesday night, he had all but 10 posted on store fronts.
Niiya Tart, assistant manager at Popeyes on Pass Road in Gulfport, was among those who supported Hyer’s efforts to push for justice for his daughter.
“From the Popeye’s crew, justice should be served,” she said Wednesday. “I think what happened is really awful. I don’t see how somebody could actually leave their child in the car. Justice should be served for her.”
All but a few businesses agreed to post the stickers that include a picture of Cheyenne.
“Mostly, everyone was helpful,” Hyer said. At one business that refused to post the stickers, he said, several customers overheard what had happened, canceled their orders and walked out.
“The support has been amazing,” he said. “We even have orders to send more.”
Barker is free on a $50,000 bond, a low bond for that type of charge, Hancock County sheriff’s investigators said. However, Prosecutor Olin Anderson, said he did not oppose the bond because he did not consider a Barker a flight risk. The sheriff’s department says otherwise.
If convicted of manslaughter, Barker could go to prison for up to 20 years. She has pleaded not guilty.