Tuesday, April 24, 2018
Public safety

Parents with hospitalized Valrico teen after Louisiana ordeal

TAMPA — The 16-year-old girl who was the subject of a weeklong search after she vanished from her Valrico home remained hospitalized Friday in Louisiana after she was found injured there with a convicted sex offender.

Ashley Lyon was still in serious but stable condition in a hospital near Lafayette, La., where she was recovering from multiple stab wounds, police said.

Steven Myers, the man who was with Ashley when she was found, was released from the hospital Friday, after being treated for several self-inflicted stab wounds. He was subsequently booked in the Lafayette Parish Corrections Center on charges of attempted first-degree murder and aggravated criminal property damage, police there said.

Ashley had been missing since June 11. She suffers from bipolar disorder and disappeared without taking along her medication, her family said. Her parents believed 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 Wednesday night 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 two 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.

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

Her parents, Michelle and Roger Lyon, were with her Friday at the hospital near Lafayette.

"We are doing as expected," Michelle Lyon said via email.

The family did not expect to make any further statements in the near future.

Myers also faces charges in Florida, including interference with child custody and unlawful sexual activity with a minor.

 
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