On June 11, 2014 Ashley Lyon, 16 years old, disappeared from her home in Valrico, Florida. She left home that evening around 4 p.m. and had not been seen since. Later an Amber Alert was issued and it was said that she was believed to be with a registered sex offender, Stephen Meyers, 41, that lives in Plant City, Florida. Ashley’s photo was published on TV and on the internet asking for anyone that might know something that would help locate the 16 year old girl to please call the police.
The parents were really worried about their daughter. They said Ashley was diagnosed as being bi-polar and she left her medication at home.
Yesterday a cashier at a truck stop in Grosse Tete, Louisiana, Fawn Domingue noticed when Ashley and the man she was with came in. She recognized them from a photo of the girl she had seen on HLN’s Nancy Grace’s FaceBook page online. She immediately reported it to her manager, Scott Holbrook, who checked the pair out and when they were walking back to their truck, Domingue followed them so she could get a description of their vehicle as she told Holbrook to call the police.
As soon as Meyers spotted a deputy entering the truck stop’s parking lot, they took off which started a 40 mile chase on Interstate 10 heading to Lafayette, La. After using tire spikes to flatten the truck tires, Meyers was finally forced to stop after one of the deflated tires caught fire from the sparks that were shooting out from him rolling on the rims.
Meyers got out of his truck yelling at the police to shoot him as he waved a knife around. When they didn’t shoot he stabbed himself a few times and the police shot him with a stun gun and released the K-9 dog on him to get him to drop the knife. He was taken to the hospital where he is listed in stable but serious condition. He is facing charges of attempted first degree murder, aggravated property damage, and resisting arrest in Louisiana. In Hillsborough County, Florida he will be facing charges of interference with child custody, traveling to meet a minor and attempted unlawful sexual activity with a minor.
Once they had Meyers in their custody, they found the girl inside the truck with a total of 10 stab wounds. Apparently Meyers turned on the girl once he realized he wasn’t going to get away from the police because he leaned over and began stabbing her. She had been taken to the hospital and was listed in critical but stable condition but has since been upgraded to serious but stable condition.
Now the authorities are saying that Ashley Lyon left her home willingly to go with Meyers. They say she even helped him plan their getaway. She dyed her hair hoping it would keep people from recognizing her. Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Col. Donna Lusczynski said that this is a situation where a 41 year old sex offender manipulated a 16 year old.
Ashley’s 17 year old brother, Sean claims that his sister met Meyers about 6 months ago through Meyers’ two teenage sons. Myers is apparently from Georgia but had moved in with his mother in Plant City, Fla. His two sons lived with Meyers’ ex-wife which is in the same neighborhood as Ashley lives in. Meyers supposedly met Ashley when he went to his ex-wife’s house to do some repair work and he began socializing with his son’s friends which Ashley was one of.
WTVT out of Tampa Florida reported that the parents of the girl claim she had been grounded for weeks for interacting with Myers and they said she left out of her bedroom window when her Mother was away serving jury duty and her father was at works. The officials say that there had been thousands of text messages sent between Meyers and Ashley.
What comes out of this once the two are out of the hospital and face the courts, I don’t know. I do know that the parents had offered a $5000.00 reward for anyone that could lead them to finding their daughter. Now they are saying that the employees from the truck stop are eligible to receive the reward. They have become heroes in the eyes of a lot of people now.
This is a good thing though. Some people just glance at a picture of a missing child and forget about it. This proves that you just never know when they could walk right into your path. You could save someone’s life by calling the police and reporting them if you see them.
Whether the girl knew him or not I am sure she never expected to be stabbed like she was. I am sure the family thinks of the cashier as saving their daughter’s life. I know I would. So from now on when you see an Amber Alert posted with a missing child’s face on it, please pay attention to it and when you go out look around and see if you see the one in the photo you saw. It could save their life.
I thank God that Ashley is alive and although she has a lot of healing to do. I am happy she will be going home back to her family.