Two police officers were terminated from their jobs Tuesday following the death of one of their children in the back of a patrol car. Officer Cassie Barker of the Long Beach Police Department in Mississippi allegedly left her 3-year-old daughter Cheyenne Hyer in her patrol car for up to four hours last Friday, while visiting Officer Clark Ladner at his home while off duty. Though autopsy results are pending, it is believed the child died from heat stroke, as temperatures are still hovering in the upper 80s and low 90s in the region.
Long Beach Police Chief Wayne McDowell requested the termination on the grounds that the officers had engaged in “unbecoming” conduct and in the case of Barker, failed to “abide by the laws of the United States, the state of Mississippi and the ordinances of the City of Long Beach.” Barker was suspended for one week’s pay in May 2015, however, it has not been disclosed as yet as to why. The exact nature of Barker and Ladner’s relationship at this time is unclear.
Barker became hysterical after the discovery of her unconscious child in the back of her patrol car and had to be hospitalized. Both she and Ladner were immediately suspended without pay during the inquiry, which is ongoing. Barker claimed the air conditioning in the car was left on while she was inside Ladner’s house. No charges have been placed against Barker yet, but police would not rule out the possibility, pending further investigation.