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Jacksonville father still waiting for justice in daughter's hot car death

Cheyenne Hyer, 3, died after being left alone in mother's patrol car

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – This week marks two years since a Jacksonville man's 3-year-old daughter died after being left alone in a hot car. 

Ryan Hyer, Cheyenne's father, shared his heartbreak with News4Jax on Thursday and questioned why the child's mother, who is charged in Cheyenne's death, is out of jail on bond.

Hyer said it's always difficult visiting his daughter's grave at an Arlington cemetery, and he still thinks about Cheyenne every day. 

"Her charm, her laugh and her sense of humor -- she was the funniest little girl," Hyer said.

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He said still can't believe what happened and the knock at his door when he learned how Cheyenne died -- alone for four hours in the backseat of her mother's police car in Long Beach, Mississippi, while her mother was off duty visiting a co-worker. The story was told nationwide on "Crime Watch Daily," which aired on WJXT. 

Prosecutors first charged Cassie Barker with manslaughter in the hot car death of her child. She now faces a charge of second-degree murder in Cheyenne's death. 

Two years after Cheyenne died, Barker has not gone on trial and remains free on $50,000 bond.

"It’s not just, 'This for me.' It’s just this for my daughter. Her life has been taken away and no action has been taken yet," Hyer said. "Yes, she’s been charged with second-degree murder, but why is it taking two years to get this thing started?"

News4Jax was unable to contact Barker. An attorney said she pleaded not guilty, and would not comment any further. 

Hyer complained he gets the runaround from court officials when he tries to find out when she will go on trial.  

"I don’t want this to go away. I want to keep her memory alive. I want people to say, 'Hey this could happen to you,'" he said. "I never thought it could happen to me but I got that knock on the door and it did."


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