The Mississippi cop who left her 3-year-old daughter in her patrol car for four hours while visiting another cop at his home last week, resulting in the toddler’s death, was temporarily stripped of custody last year after leaving her daughter in the car in a previous incident.
But Long Beach police officer Cassie Barker persuaded the state Department of Human Services to return her child, only for her to do it again 18 months later.
Barker has since been charged with manslaughter for allowing her daughter, Cheyenne, Hyer, to die in her patrol car. She turned herself in, but was released within an hour, under much criticism from the local sheriff and media.
The first incident tool place on April 6, 2015 when she left her daughter in her personal car while it was parked in a strip shopping mall in Gulfport.
A passebyer noticed the child and called police, resulting in the state seizing custody of the child temporarily as well as Barker placed on a week of unpaid suspension.
But on Friday, the officer left her child unattended again in her car; this time in the back of her patrol car while visiting her shift supervisor, Sergeant Clark Ladner, who has been described in some reports as her boyfriend.
Both cops have since been fired from the Long Beach Police Department.
Ladner told investigators that he and Barker had just finished working the night shift when they went to his home at 9 a.m. to discuss a “work related incident.”
Barker claims she left her car running with the air conditioner on because she was only planning on staying a few minutes.
Ladner said he took a sleeping aid and fell asleep. And he said she fell asleep shortly after.
When Barker woke up at least four hours later, she went out to her car, found her daughter unresponsive and ran back inside “frantically” saying something was wrong with Cheyenn.
Ladner said he ran back outside with her. Ladner began CPR on Cheyenn and dialed 911 for help. Barker started CPR on her daughter when Ladner stopped so he turned on the blue lights on Barker’s patrol car and moved the car to the end of his driveway.
Barker told deputies she had left her daughter strapped in the car seat in her patrol car because she was planning only to stay a few minutes and had left the engine running and the air conditioning on.
Deputies looked at Barker’s patrol car and noted all the windows were rolled up and a large blanket sat next to the child’s car seat on the rear passenger seat of the unit.
When deputies looked at the air conditioning setting, they noted the air was actually set “half way between cold and heat,” so the force of the full cold air was not being felt by the child.
Barker has been hospitalized ever since the incident after she threatened to harm herself.