Father of little girl who died in patrol car speaks out about new message

Father of little girl who died in patrol car speaks out about new message

HANCOCK COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - Ryan Hyer is still reeling from the loss of his three-year-old daughter, Cheyenne, earlier this year. Now he says a recent Facebook message, from a man who was there the day she died, is reopening those wounds right at the holidays.

Cheyenne Hyer died Sept. 30 after being alone left in her mother's patrol car for hours. Her mother, Cassie Barker, was a Long Beach police officer who decided to stop at her supervisor's house in the Kiln after working the night shift.

Barker told investigators she left Cheyenne in her car seat in the patrol car around 9am, then went inside the home, took a sleep aid, and fell asleep. When she woke up, she went out to the car and found Cheyenne unresponsive in her car seat.

Barker's supervisor, Clark Ladner, was not charged in the case because he had no knowledge Cheyenne was in the car. But both Barker and Ladner were fired from the police department.

Now Ladner is reaching out to Hyer, offering his side of the story, and asking a favor.

"He asked me if he could get the address and know where Cheyenne was buried cause he would like to come visit her. And didn't know how I felt about him or how I felt about Cassie, and he felt it was only right that he come pay his respects," said Hyer.

Hyer said his heart is still suffering from the pain of losing Cheyenne. Since her death, he's sought counseling and even joined a grievance group to try to heal.

"In the message, it says, 'I didn't know she was in the car.' He said he thought that Cassie was going to her next shift, or just got off a shift from Lowe's, or was going to Lowes. And he said he didn't know she was showing up and he was too tired to argue about it," Hyer recalled.

Hyer said Ladner apologized and told him he had no idea that little Cheyenne was in her mother's patrol car, and had he known, he would have done something about it.

Hyer said he isn't buying Ladner's story.

"I'm still angry about it and there ain't no way in hell I would give him the address or tell him where she's buried. If anything, I think he should be involved in the whole prosecution," said Hyer.

Forgiveness is something Hyer said he's just not ready to give.

"Since the burial, I haven't been able to go to church. I've just been so angry and God says you're supposed to forgive and I can't right now," said Hyer.

Cassie Barker is charged with manslaughter. The case now goes before a grand jury.

Hyer has since sued the Long Beach Police Department and Child Protective Services for "wrongful actions" by city and state officials, which ultimately led to the death of Cheyenne.

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