Funeral held for slain 9-year-old girl

Person of interest questioned in girl's death
CHICAGO A funeral service was held for 9-year-old Mya Lyons of Chicago, whose body was found in an alley early Tuesday in the city's Auburn-Gresham neighborhood.

Family members and friends of called the girl's funeral a home-going for an angel. Some struggling with Mya's murder also were somewhat comforted by word that police may have a person in interest in custody.

"You saw the brightness in her, and I'm sad. I'm hurt by it, but…she will be remembered," said Dennis Johnson, the victim's cousin.

"[We are] sharing with family, and [trying] to offer our support during this time of tragedy," family friend Catherine McDaniel said.

Mya was remembered by her family and friends as a happy child who, even at her young age, excelled at whatever tasks she took on.

"Mya was full-spirit child and a wonderful daughter. Her smile lit up the room," family member Karrisell Lyons told those gathered to mourn the 9-year-old.

Sorrow gripped those who attended Saturday morning's funeral service. During the ceremony, the child's grieving family heard a message of finding hope beyond the tragedy and spiritual assurances that justice would be done.

"Don't let today's pain take your life. You have to live beyond this day, and you have to live for her," said Pastor Mark Anthony Henton of the Monument of Faith Church, where the service was held.

Mya's funeral came one day after published reports claimed police had a person of interest in custody for the girl's murder.

"I just hope they get who did it. That's on the minds of everybody. Everybody wants to know who did this to this baby," family friend Felicia Williams said.

Mya's body was found Tuesday night by her father in an alley near his South Side home, where she was spending the summer. Investigators say the child had been slashed and sexually assaulted.

Saturday, Crimestoppers canvassed the neighborhood where the child was killed.

As father Richard Lyons laid his daughter to rest Saturday, he had words for other parents and talked about a promise he made in honor of his daughter.

"We will try to create some Mya minutes for her and for other families. To be able to take a few minutes out of their day to say, 'Let me look at you [to their children].'"

Friends, along with community members, are calling for a neighborhood to come together to help find Mya Lyon's killer and also to stop the violence. Several organizations are offering cash rewards for information that leads to an arrest in the case.

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