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Medical Examiner: Mya Lyons, 9, was suffocated before brutal stabbing

Richard L. Lyons

Richard L. Lyons

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Updated: January 15, 2014 9:58PM



Whoever killed 9-year-old Mya Lyons strangled and hit her before slicing her so deep that some of her organs were lacerated, Cook County Medical Examiner Stephen Cina testified Wednesday.

Mya, who had been asphyxiated and suffered blunt trauma, was “probably dying or was dead” when she was slashed in the gruesome July 14, 2008 incident, Cina said during the second day of Richard Lyons’ murder trial.

Lyons is accused of brutally murdering his daughter and then dumping her body in a lot near his home, in the 8400 block of South Gilbert Court

Prosecutors said Lyons pretended to stumble upon Mya’s body to cover up his tracks. The 45-year-old wasn’t arrested until 2011 when blood spatter experts pointed out that Mya was most likely stabbed in the van and not in the lot where Lyons told police he found her.

As Assistant State’s Attorney Fabio Valentini poured over dozens of grisly autopsy photos, Cina said the weapon used to stab Mya, penetrated her lungs, liver, spleen and kidney.

Some of Mya’s relatives looked down on the ground when the photos were shown.

Because the doctor who performed Mya’s autopsy has since moved out of state, Cina testified for prosecutors.

Several officers also testified Wednesday, mostly discussing the blood they found in the van and lot where they also found a pair of pink sandals and barrettes. One detective also said he found a lockbox attached to Lyons’ porch that authorities believed was used in the deadly attack.

The trial continues in Judge Vincent Gaughan’s courtroom on Thursday.

Email: rhussain@suntimes.com

Twitter: @rummanahussain



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