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Update: Two police officers on leave after child found in car dies

Biloxi

Two Long Beach police officers have been placed on administrative leave pending investigation of a 3-year-old girl’s death in Hancock County.

Police Chief Wayne McDowell on Sunday said a female officer, who is the child’s mother, and a male officer are on leave with pay pending the outcome of an internal investigation.

Cheyenne Hyer died after she was found unattended in a car Friday on Standard-Dedeaux Road in Kiln.

Details have not been released on whether the child was in the care of her mother at the time and how the male officer is involved. It’s also unclear how long the child was left unattended and why.

Hancock County Coroner Jim Faulk said the child’s body was to be taken to the Mississippi Forensic Laboratory in Pearl for an autopsy on Monday.

“The two officers were not on duty when it happened and they were not in Long Beach,” McDowell said.

McDowell declined to say if the child was in a patrol car, saying the Hancock County Sheriff’s Office is handling an independent investigation and will release pertinent details in time.

“It’s a sad situation,” McDowell said Sunday.

“I’ve spoken with the male officer involved but I’ve not spoken with the female officer, not as far as the official internal investigation, because of medical reasons. The mother is in shock. I will talk to her soon.”

Sheriff's officials have said the car was running when the child was found in a vehicle.

It’s unclear if the car’s air-conditioner was running.

The girl was pronounced dead at Hancock Medical Center.

Faulk said he will meet with investigators so they can share their findings.

"I was at the hospital with the body while investigators were at the scene,” Faulk said.

The child was found shortly after noon Friday, according to initial reports.

Temperatures Friday were in the high 80s to low 90s, with the heat index reaching above 100 degrees.

Robin Fitzgerald: 228-896-2307, @robincrimenews

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