Missing Valrico teen, sex offender found in Louisiana - WFLA News Channel 8

Missing Valrico teen, sex offender found in Louisiana

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Ashley Lyon Ashley Lyon
A 16-year-old Valrico girl who was missing for a week and was found with a sex offender Thursday morning in Louisiana, had been stabbed 10 times, according to the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office.

The HCSO said on Thursday afternoon that Ashley Lyon, who suffers from bipolar disorder, was in serious but stable condition at a Louisiana hospital. Sex offender Steven Myers, 41, is also hospitalized and is being treated for self-inflicted stab wounds.

Lyon was not abducted, according to Colonel Donna Lusczynski with the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office. Lyon and Myers jointly planned to leave together. The teen had altered her appearance, possibly with hair dye.

Related: Arrest warrant issued for sex offender thought to be with missing Valrico teen

A cashier at a truck stop in Grosse Tete, Louisiana called 911 after recognizing the pair when they stopped in to buy cigarettes at about 9:40 p.m. on Wednesday. She pulled up the information on her cell phone, which was posted on the Nancy Grace Show's Facebook page.

The teen's father, Roger Lyon, who had spent the last two days handing out flyers at truck stops, expressed his gratitude to the trucking community, Nancy Grace and people who spread the word about his daughter's disappearance on social media.

"Your outreach and support has been phenomenal," he said.

Lyon, who has a military background, was calm and composed when he spoke to the media Thursday afternoon telling them he was glad the "nightmare" was over.

“Obviously there was jubilation at that point and just overwhelming relief. As more information came in we saw a news report there was shock at that point,” said Roger Lyon.

“To hear that your daughter your baby has been stabbed, I heard one report that it was possibly up to 40 times, I wouldn’t wish that upon anyone,” added Lyon.

Lyon said that his daughter is strong-willed and he knows she's going to be fine.

"I know she'll pull through this," he said.

Related: Alert truck stop workers spotted missing Valrico teen with sex offender

Col. Lusczynski said that authorities have not yet interviewed Lyon and Myers about what happened.

Investigators say authorities caught up with the pair after learning they were at the truck stop. Once he saw police, Myers took drove away in a stolen truck leading authorities on a 40-mile chase than finally ended when the truck's tires blew out.

Myers got out of the truck holding a knife and asked officers to stab him, according to Col. Lusczynski. He then started stabbing himself in the abdomen and was subdued by police dogs and taken into custody.

Related: Parents make plea for daughter's safe return

Lyon was found stabbed inside the truck. Investigators say she had been stabbed eight times on the front of her torso and twice on the back.

“My daughter is strong, I know she is strong willed,” said Roger Lyons.

Ashley is expected to survive her injuries. Her mother, Michelle flew to be with her Thursday.

Louisiana authorities charged Myers with attempted first degree murder, aggravated property damage and resisting arrest. He also faces charges in Hillsborough County.

“Obviously there will have to be an introductory period and that way it going to have to be some educating on the parents part and to ensure that she is ready and receptive to interaction with her family,” said Lyon.

Investigators from the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office will also head to Louisiana to interview Ashley.

Colonel Donna Lusczynski said Myers was driving a truck stolen from another Florida county and that detectives wanted to figure out where the pair traveled over the past week. Colonel Lusczynski does not think Ashley was abducted but that she and Myers planned to runaway.

Myers now faces charges of attempted murder in Louisiana and in Hillsborough County he faces charges of Interference with child custody and attempted unlawful sexual activity with certain minors traveling to meet a minor.

No word on when Ashley might be released from the hospital. Investigators say she did dye her hair darker to change her appearance.

MORE: How to find out if a sex offender or sex predator lives in your neighborhood

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