Posted: Nov 15, 2012 2:18 PM by Mark Thorsell - MTN News
Updated: Nov 15, 2012 2:53 PM
MISSOULA - Social media lit up Thursday with questions about how authorities responded to the death of 4-year-old cancer victim Cash Hyde.
"Cashy," as he was known to friends and family, passed away Wednesday evening after a long bout with a Stage 4 brain tumor.
His parents, Michael and Kalli, shepherded Cash through numerous procedures and treatments over the following years, leading to the formation of the Cash Hyde Foundation and the building of an extensive group of supporters both here in Montana and elsewhere.
Cash would eventually reach the stage of remission and last spring it appeared he had beat the cancer for a second time, but the disease reappeared in August. The family then continued to try several alternative treatments, including using medical marijuana.
News of his death prompted waves of sympathy from a community that has watched his courageous battle, but questions are being raised on social media about how Missoula law enforcement responded to the death of Cash.
A message posted on the Cash Hyde Foundation Facebook page says, "I would like all of Cashys fans to call the missoula mayors office and complain how the Missoula Police department and coroners office treated my family only minutes after Cashy passed last night. 5 uniformed cops came to our house 20 minutes after he passed and pushed their way in."
"I asked if they could leave as we only wanted family so we could mourn and they refused. Then they told us they were taking him and we had to argue with them for 45 minutes that Cashy was staying with us. They completely disrespected our family and Cashys moment of peace," the post continued.
The post asked that folks call the Missoula Police Department, the Missoula County Sheriff's Office and Missoula Mayor John Engen to protest how the situation was handled.
Sheriff's Office Public Information Officer Jason Johnson posted a response on Facebook to the questions that have been raised saying that, "The Missoula County Sheriff's responded to the death of a four-year old child last night and the family is understandably upset.'
Johnson went on to explain the procedures authorities followed in responding to the death of Cash. He says since the death happened in the city limits, Missoula Police sent a pair of officers and a supervisor to the home, which Johnson says in his post "is common for an 'unattended death'.
The Sheriff's office was then called in as the coroner's office, according to Johnson, who posted that "one deputy coroner and MCSO Chaplain Chuck Lee responded," to the home.
Johnson added that, "the family did not want the child to be taken from the home so our coroner came to an agreement with the family on a time that the funeral home would come to their home and transport so that they would have time to grieve".
A news release issued Thursday afternoon by the Missoula Police Department says that "the Missoula Mayor's Office and the Missoula Police Department have received calls and emails from concerned individuals, including members of the Hyde family, about the manner in which the police officers and Coroner's Office responded to this sad ordeal.
Police Chief Mark Muir has talked with Cash's father, and "promised to review the manner in which our officers fulfilled their duties in responding to the scene of a reported death," according to Missoula Police Captain Scott Hoffman.
"The goal of this review is to find any valuable lessons to gain from the family's expressed views about the Missoula Police Department's response," Hoffman added in the prepared statement.