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Prayer vigil for girl found murdered

July 16, 2008 9:05:18 PM PDT
Nine-year-old Mya Lyons' body was found Monday night in an alley near her father's home. Wednesday, her mother, grieving over the loss of her daughter, made an emotional plea. "If you know anything, please, please come forth," said Erika Barnes, Mya's mother.

A $5,500 reward is being offered for any information leading to an arrest in this case.

Family members, ministers and community leaders gathered in the Auburn Gresham community for an emotional prayer vigil and march near the crime scene Wednesday.

Mya Lyons' mother and father came together Wednesday to ask for the public's help in finding Mya's killer. They described their daughter as a "girlie girl" who loved the color pink.

Wednesday, her mom and her family honored Mya by wearing pink. Ericka Barnes clutched a framed photo of her daughter Mya. She never let go of it as she participated in a march, a prayer vigil, and as Barnes made a passionate plea for Mya's killer to turn himself in.

"He killed my daughter. He killed her viciously. He left my baby to die in an alley," said Ericka Barnes, victim's mother.

It was too much for Barnes to take. After all, it had only been a day-and-a-half since her only daughter was found murdered in an alley about 100 yards from Mya's father's home. She was stabbed several times.

Richard Lyons is the one who discovered Mya.

"I'm angry, I'm upset, I'm hurt. I'm joyous still, though. I'm joyous because I still had my daughter for the nine years that I've had her. And those nine years, no matter what happens in the future, those past nine years can't be taken away," said Richard Lyons, victim's father.

While ministers joined the family in marches and prayers, detectives continued to work the neighborhood.

Meantime, there is was mother on hand Thursday who knows exactly what Ericka Barnes is going through. It's been almost 11 years since her daughter was found murdered.

"I talked to her briefly and she said the first thing she thought about was Ryan," said Sabrina Harris, mother of Ryan Harris. "It brought me to tears, because any time, no matter if it's a rape or gun violence, any child reminds me of my daughter."

Ericka Barnes and Richard Lyons shared joint custody of Mya. Both say they get along well and respect each other as parents. Together, they made yet another plea.

"We're going to lay her down the best way we can. We're going to celebrate her life," Lyons said.

"My baby was so sweet. My baby didn't deserve this. She didn't deserve this at all. Please understand this," said Barnes.

Mya's funeral will be held on Saturday morning at 10 a.m. It is the same day that her family says she was scheduled to go to Great America.

Police are continuing to search for a suspect. They say they're not ruling anybody in or out.


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