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Toddler left in car was ‘happiest’ little girl, father says

Cheyenne Hyer
Cheyenne Hyer

Ryan Hyer hasn’t been the same since police officers came to him Friday to tell him “the most likeable little girl you’ve ever seen” had died after her mother left her unattended in her police patrol car.

“I just couldn’t believe it,” Hyer said from his home in Jacksonville Beach, Florida. “It’s just hard to believe. I’m trying to get some more information. She was the happiest, bounciest little girl you have ever seen. She loved animals.”

He said he still fondly remembers his daughter’s love for horses. She often got to play with them, he said, when he and Barker lived on a lot of land when they were together.

“I’ll miss my little girl,” he said.

Hyer said he and the child’s mother, Long Beach police officer Cassie Barker, spent two years together before they split and he returned to his hometown in Florida. The couple never married.

He said he spent the first two years of 3-year-old Cheyenne’s life around her daily to help care for her while her mother attended the police academy.

“I”m just so angry, I’m so angry,” Hyer said.

“I want to know more about what happened,” he said.

He said he hasn’t been able to talk to Barker since their daughter’s death because she’s been hospitalized.

Barker, he said, “loved her daughter.”

Hyer said he’d been trying to make arrangements with the funeral home to get Cheyenne’s body back to Jacksonville to be buried next to his other daughter, who died at birth in 2001.

“I don’t care how long it takes, I just want to get my daughter back,” he said.

Hyer has created a GoFundMe account to help pay for burial and funeral expenses for Cheyenne.

Margaret Baker: 228-896-0538, @Margar45

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