A former police officer has been charged with manslaughter in the death of her 3-year-old daughter, whom she allegedly left in her police cruiser for more than four hours as she visited another officer.
Cassie Barker and her former supervisor, Sgt. Clark Ladner, who was also fired for the incident, were reportedly in Ladner's house while Barker’s daughter, Cheyenne Hyer, was left in the cop car with the windows up and the air conditioning running.
Ladner was not charged.
A preliminary autopsy revealed that the toddler died a “heat-related death” and that her body temperature was 107 degrees at the time of her death on September 30, according to WDAM.
Barker, 27, reportedly told police that she left Cheyenne in the back of the police cruiser at about 9 a.m. after picking her up from a babysitter 30 minutes prior and discovered her unresponsive around 2 p.m. because she had fallen asleep inside Ladner's house.
Barker had ended a work shift at 6 a.m. that morning and said she didn’t wake up until five hours later, when she had only planned to visit with Ladner for a few minutes.
She told investigators she tried to revive the child.
Chief Investigator Glenn Grannan of the Hancock County Sheriff’s Department, said he was worried Barker might leave town when he peered through her window during their investigation, according to the WDAM.
"It looked like someone was definitely packing up. Wasn't any furniture, boxes. Looked like you would vacate a home," Grannan said.
After she was booked, Barker bonded out of jail a little more than an hour later on a $50,000 bond, which displeased the Hancock County Sheriff’s Office, according to reports.
“There are people in jail for burglary charges on $50,000 bonds," Sheriff Ricky Adam said.
However, Don Rafferty, one of Barker’s lawyers, told WDAM there are many sides to the case and they were happy she got bonded out.
But Grannan was not happy with that idea.
"My responsibility is to citizens of Hancock County, to the little girl who died," he said. "Someone was irresponsible enough to put their own self interests ahead of hers.”
Barker’s preliminary hearing is set for November 1