Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Detectives want to interview teen who left with sex offender

TAMPA — Two Hillsborough County sheriff's detectives left Friday for Louisiana to try to interview Ashley Lyon, the Valrico teenager who remains hospitalized there in the wake of her weeklong disappearance with a sex offender.

And local authorities are adding a criminal charge against the man accused of trying to kill her.

Steven P. Myers, 41, of near Plant City, now faces a charge of using an electronic device to seduce or solicit a minor for sex. That is in addition to local charges of interference with child custody and unlawful sexual activity with a minor, and a Louisiana charge of attempted murder, all related to Ashley's disappearance.

The detectives traveled to Louisiana on Friday, where the 16-year-old is in serious condition, the Sheriff's Office said. The detectives planned to talk with her doctors to determine when and for how long they could speak with her.

Text messages between Ashley and Myers indicated some sort of relationship that led to the Hillsborough charges, but detectives want to talk with her to fill in details of the week she was missing, including how she was stabbed, the Sheriff's Office said.

It remained unclear when Myers might return to Florida. He was being held in jail in Lafayette Parish, La., where he and Ashley were found on June 19.

The teen went missing June 11. She has bipolar disorder and disappeared without taking her medication with her, her family said. Her parents thought she left willingly with Myers, with whom they later discovered she had exchanged hundreds of text messages.

Myers has twice been convicted of child molestation in Georgia and was required to register his address with local authorities.

The two were spotted the night of June 18 at a truck stop off Interstate 10 near Baton Rouge, La. A clerk, who recognized them from media coverage, notified a sheriff's deputy as the girl and Myers got into a stolen flatbed pickup truck.

Myers drove away, leading authorities on a 40-mile chase, police said. It ended in Lafayette when Myers stopped after riding on the sparking rims of four blown tires, climbed on the truck hood and yelled for officers to kill him as he stabbed himself, according to police.

He was attacked by a police dog and shocked with a Taser before being arrested. He was briefly hospitalized before being taken to jail.

Ashley was found inside the disabled truck with eight stab wounds to her chest and back, police said.

Most recently, her family posted an update to a Facebook page created for her, saying she had undergone surgery related to a blood clot and was breathing through a ventilator.

Family members announced Wednesday that they were discontinuing posts to the page to protect Ashley's privacy.

Times staff writer Keeley Sheehan contributed to this report.

Detectives want to interview teen who left with sex offender 06/27/14 [Last modified: Friday, June 27, 2014 9:20pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Wrestling to return to old Tampa armory — but just for one night

    Human Interest

    Times Staff Writer

    TAMPA — For the first time in decades, wrestling will return to the old Ft. Homer W. Hesterly Armory with a reunion show scheduled for late September.

  2. Wanted: New businesses on Safety Harbor's Main Street

    Local Government

    SAFETY HARBOR — A green grocery store, a hardware store, restaurants, boutiques and multi-use buildings are all wanted downtown, according to discussion at a community redevelopment workshop held last week. And to bring them to the Main Street district, city commissioners, led by Mayor Joe Ayoub, gave City Manager …

  3. John Morgan intends to pressure every Florida politician to fund wage initiative


    John Morgan, the publicity-loving personal injury lawyer/entrepreneur who spearheaded the successful medical marijuana initiative, soon plans to start collecting signatures for a 2020 ballot initiative raising Florida minimum wage. He plans to "spend millions of my own money" on the effort, but he also intends to …

  4. Westbound traffic on Courtney Campbell blocked after crash


    Westbound traffic on the Courtney Campbell Causeway is being diverted following a crash early Thursday morning.

  5. Q&A: A business leader and historian jointly delve into Tampa's waterfront


    TAMPA — As a native of Tampa, Arthur Savage has always had a passion for his hometown's history. And as a third-generation owner and operator of A.R. Savage & Son, a Tampa-based shipping agency, his affinity for his hometown also extends to its local waterways.

    Arthur Savage (left) and Rodney Kite-Powell, co-authors of "Tampa Bay's Waterfront: Its History and Development," stand for a portrait with the bust of James McKay Sr. in downtown Tampa on Wednesday, Aug. 16, 2017. McKay, who passed away in 1876, was a prominent businessman, among other things, in the Tampa area. He was Arthur Savage's great great grandfather. [LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times]