Long Beach Police Chief deals with tragic death, department morale
A warrant has been issued for the arrest of former Long Beach police officer Cassie Barker on a charge of manslaughter in the death of her 3-year-old daughter, whom she left in the back of her patrol car for four hours.
Barker, 27, is accused in the death of her daughter, Cheyenne Hyer, 3, last week. Barker had been hospitalized after her daughter died but has since been released and is with a few friends, Hancock County Sheriff Ricky Adam said Thursday.
“If she doesn’t turn herself in today,” Adam said, “I plan to charge anybody that is helping her. If they fail to turn her in or we get to them before they turn her in, we are going to charge them, too.”
An investigation began Friday after deputies got a call about an unresponsive child, later identified as Cheyenne at the home of one of Barker’s then–shift supervisors, Sgt. Clark Ladner, on CC Road off Standard-Dedeaux Road in Kiln.
Both officers were fired Tuesday night. Adam said there are no plans to charge Ladner in the case because there is no evidence to indicate he knew the child was in the car outside his home.
Barker told authorities she had left her daughter in her car seat in the back of the patrol car when she stopped at Ladner’s home shortly before 9 a.m. Friday.
Ladner said Barker had stopped by to discuss a work-related matter.
The two claimed they fell asleep and when Barker woke up and went outside, she found her daughter unresponsive and ran back inside to tell Ladner something was wrong with Cheyenne.
Ladner and Barker did CPR on Cheyenne, and Ladner dialed 911 for help. Barker told investigators she had left her daughter in the car because she planned to stay only a few minutes. She had left the engine running and the air conditioning on, but the air was actually set “half way between cold and heat.”
Barker had left the car’s windows rolled up.
Cheyenne was pronounced dead Friday afternoon at Hancock Medical Center. An autopsy was performed Monday, but Coroner Jim Faulk said the results are pending toxicolgy tests. Cheyenne’s body has arrived in Jacksonville, Fla., to be buried with her father’s family. However, because of Hurricane Matthew’s path, no funeral arrangements have been made.
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