City of Missoula Explains Police Department and Coronor’s Office Response to Hyde Family Incident

As reported in public and social media today, a family in the Missoula community last night suffered a tragic loss of their 4-year-old son following a long-term battle with brain cancer. The Missoula Police Department joins the family and friends of Cash Hyde in expressing our sadness and condolences for the end of this young child’s brave fight to survive.At 9:55 p.m. yesterday evening, 9-1-1 received a phone call alerting authorities of young Cash’s death. Missoula City Police officers and a supervisor responded to the family’s home as required by law to investigate the reported death of any individual not under the direct care of a hospital or physician.

Although every death is difficult to those closest to a loved one, a child’s death is a particularly difficult situation to encounter for everyone, including public safety officials.

This morning 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 Officeresponded to this sad ordeal. Chief Muir has spoken directly with Cash’s father, Mike, and promised to review the manner in which our officers fulfilled their duties in responding to the scene of a reported death.

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.

Law enforcement officers share an obligation in conjunction with the County Coroner to fully investigate what is referred to as “unattended” deaths; those which occur absent direct medical care. We are sensitive to the family’s concerns that the Police Department response to their home did not meet their expectations of how their family’s grief should have been dealt with.

After our officers documented the necessary facts in a death investigation, they summoned the Coroner to determine the cause and manner of death and the Sheriff’s Chaplain to aid the family in dealing with the next steps of a painful loss.

In his conversation with Mike Hyde, Chief Muir also pledged to help the family and community honor Cash’s life and valiant struggle with cancer by providing police escorts for the funeral procession. The entire Missoula Police Department wishes to express its deep sorrow to the Hyde family for their loss and pray that the support of the community will be of comfort to them in their grief.