HANCOCK COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - New developments in the case of former Long Beach police officer Cassie Barker, who was charged with manslaughter in the death of her 3-year-old daughter, are coming to light.
Investigators confirmed Cheyenne Hyer's body temperature was 107 degrees when she was pronounced dead on Sept. 30. Although the final autopsy results have not been released, the preliminary autopsy does point to this as a heat-related death.
In the days after Cheyenne was found dead, Glenn Grannan, Chief Investigator with the Hancock County Sheriff's Department, said he and other investigators worried Barker would leave town. Grannan said he came to that conclusion when he peered through the window of Barker's home.
"It looked like someone was definitely packing up. Wasn't any furniture, boxes. Looked like you would vacate a home," Grannan said.
According to Grannan, the worry increased after Barker surrendered to face a felony charge in her daughter's death and was released on a $50,000 bond.
"Bond must be commiserate and respectful enough to send a message to the defendant must pay attention and be responsible to show up for court proceedings. $50,000 is not much of an assurance. $250,000 would be a more appropriate bond," Grannan said.
According to the affidavit filed by investigators, shortly before 9 a.m. on Sept. 30, Barker left her child in a car seat in the back seat of her Long Beach patrol car with the windows rolled up and the air conditioner on max. The affidavit says the temperature setting was slightly past the half way point toward the heat setting and the blower was set on low.
Barker told investigators she went to visit her supervisor, Clark Ladner, at his home, fell asleep, and discovered Cheyenne around 2 p.m. Now, investigators are gathering more evidence and securing the case to present in court.
"My responsibility is to citizens of Hancock County, to the little girl who died. Someone was irresponsible enough to put their own self interests ahead of hers," said Grannan.
Investigators tell us there are subpoenas out right now, and they're working to secure any previous reports from the Department of Human Services involving Barker.