Lyons Due in Bond Court for Daughter's Murder

Prosecutors said they have evidence directly linking Lyons to the crime.

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    NEWSLETTERS

    TK

    A Chicago man accused of killing his 9-year-old daughter is due in bond court today at noon.

    Richard Lyons, 42, is charged with first-degree murder in the stabbing death of Mya Lyons. He also faces a separate count of aggravated criminal sexual abuse linked to a case from 2010 involving a juvenile boy.

    Police arrested Lyons Tuesday after prosecutors said they have evidence directly linking him to the crime.

    Lyons told Chicago Police July 14, 2008, that he found his daughter's body in an alley in the 8400 block of South Gilbert with stab wounds to her neck and abdomen.

    She had been visiting him for the summer. Days after her murder, a bloody knife was found in a nearby alley.

    "This was a horrific crime," police Supt. Jody Weis said Tuesday. "Every month we got updates and, you know, I kept pestering these guys to bring this case to fruition, because a case like this cannot go unsolved."

    Lt. Brendan Deenihan said police knew the case was headed in this direction more than a year ago.

    Police questioned Lyons early in the investigation, searching his home and confiscating his van, but he was never named a suspect. At the time, Lyons told a reporter he struggled to understand why police hadn't received more tips in the investigation.

    Mya's mother, Ericka Barnes, told reporters that at first she wanted an arrest right away after the murder .

    "I wanted someone to pay," Barnes said. "But as time progressed, I said, 'You know, I know why they're taking their time.'"

    Hundreds of people attended Mya’s funeral, where a personal note from then-presidential candidate Barack Obama was posted.

    "I cannot pretend to understand the struggle that you have been forced to endure as a result of this senseless violence...," Obama wrote, adding, "As a parent myself, I can only imagine the unbearable pain you are experiencing as well as the uncertainty of so many questions left unanswered."