Cassie Barker, the mother of 3-year-old Cheyenne Hyer, reportedly left the toddler in a cruiser Friday afternoon for four hours.
Reports said the car was running and the air conditioner was on when police found the girl unresponsive in the hot car. She was transported to the hospital but later died.
The Sun Herald reported that Barker was visiting another officer, Clark Ladner, at the time that she left the child alone.
According to AJC.com, Ladner didn’t know the little girl was in the car during their visit.
The officers were both off-duty during the incident.
Barker recently had to go through the state Department of Human Services to regain Cheyenne after a separate incident, according to reports.
Cheyenne’s father Ryan Hyer told the Clarion Ledger that he raised Cheyenne with Barker for the first two years of her life while the couple were still together, but when they broke up, he moved away and didn’t see Cheyenne at all.
Hyer described his devastation at the news.
“I lost all feeling. I couldn’t speak, I couldn’t breathe Then I was flat out crying. After that I just was angry, and I went in the backyard and started beating up the shed," Hyer said.
Hancock County Chief Deputy Don Bass said there is no logical reason for this to have happened.
“It's not an accident. She left the child in the car,” said Bass. “We hear and read about this, it seems like quite often recently."
There are no charges as of yet, but Bass told the Clarion-Ledger that he expects Barker would be charged with negligent homicide.