Mya had been playing at a step-brother's house Monday night. She was home and in bed by 11 p.m. When her father checked on her and saw she was not in bed, he became concerned. He searched the neighborhood and made the gruesome discovery when he walked down the alley which straddles the Metra tracks.
Her father, Richard Lyons, said he put Mya in his car and drove her to Jackson Park Hospital where she was pronounced dead.
There are reports that Mya was sexually assaulted, but police have not confirmed that.
"Just a sweet, average girl, went around, playing, jump rope and bikes. I will never understand it. It will never make sense to me," said Nakia Akins, neighbor.
Police have searched the murder scene and canvassed the neighborhood looking for clues.
"Do a thorough search for evidence. You know, we want to go through garbage cans and bushes, you name it. So it's basically coming out in daylight hours and making sure we're not missing anything," said Detective Tom Byrne.
"I'm hoping and praying they catch this person or persons that did this. She didn't deserve this. She did not deserve this," said Orlando Barnes, grandfather.
Authorities went inside a house across the street, which the Illinois State Police sex offender Web site lists as the home of a non-compliant, convicted child sex offender. But police say they do not have any suspects in custody. Nieghbors say the home had been vacant for some time.
"We have no suspects we're looking for. We're looking for anybody in the area. We have not restricted our search by any means and really not even at that level to say we think it's this person," said a police spokesperson.
Richard Lyons says he always considered the Chatham neighborhood safe after living there 25 years.
"My heart is heavy. And if anybody knows anything, I beg you to come out," Richard Lyons said. "Love your kids. No matter how much you think you can protect them, that you can hold them, that you can keep them safe, it's just not true."
Many say they saw the girl Monday night standing on the front porch of her home about 9:30.
"She comes to our house and plays all the time. She's a very sweet little girl, never did anything to anybody," said neighbor Constance Morgan.
"I just want to make sure that they catch the person that did this so we can be safe," said neighbor Lakenya Horn.
While neighbors say they will live in fear until someone is caught, this is a crime that has captured the attention of Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley.
"Let's get this individual, put him in jail for the rest of his life or give him the death penalty," Daley said.
It has been reported the detectives have taken DNA samples from some men that live in the neighborhood, although police will not confirm whether Mya was sexually assaulted.
If you have any information, call Area Two police at 312-747-8272.