Slain Girl’s Mother: Suspect Dad Left Me With Huge Bill

CHICAGO (CBS/WBBM) — The mother of 9-year-old Mya Lyons, who was murdered nearly three years ago, says the girl’s father, who is the suspect in Mya’s death, has now left her with a huge bill.

Ericka Barnes says she can’t bear to go to the Burr Oak Cemetery because the grave is bare.

As WBBM Newsradio 780’s Michele Fiore reports, Mya’s body was found on July 14, 2008, and her father, Richard Lyons, has now been charged with her murder.

LISTEN: Newsradio 780’s Michele Fiore reports

Following Mya’s death, Ericka Barnes has been hit with $10,000 in burial expenses – something she says should have been partly covered by donations.

“Donations were given towards my daughter’s father and his family,” she said.

Barnes says an insurance policy also could have also helped out, but the company is refusing to pay, because Mya’s father is now charged with her murder. That, too, has been difficult to understand.

In March, Richard Lyons, 42, pleaded not guilty to his daughter’s murder. Mya was stabbed 30 times, and also suffered multiple skull fractures.

Richard Lyons said he found her body in a dark and weedy alley behind his home in the 8400 block of South Gilbert Court, and took her to the hospital in his van. Mya lived in Addison with her mother and was staying with her father for the weekend.

Right after the murder, Lyons, who worked as a radiology technician at Northwestern Memorial Hospital, loudly proclaimed his innocence and begged the public day after day to help him find the killer.

But prosecutors later said that blood spatter evidence found in Lyons’ van and on his clothes link him to the horrific crime. That evidence showed Mya was not killed in the alley where her father said he found her, but inside his van, according to prosecutors.

It would be 2 1/2 years before Lyons was charged with his daughter’s murder. Prosecutors have offered no theory on a motive.

Separately, Lyons is also charged with sexually abusing a young teenage boy in his neighborhood, in an incident after Mya’s murder.

  • single dad

    I would imagine it’s hard for the lady to get up out of bed after losing a child especially in such a brutal way let alone cover huge bills and deal with all the other issues in this tragedy. If I could afford it I would make things right for this poor woman.

  • Mjones

    Ah, anonymity allows the racists to come out the closet. She’s not looking for a handout. And I doubt she smokes crack. Have some respect for a woman that lost her daughter.

    And yes, a funeral can cost anywhere from 5k to 50k, depending on what you get with it and how large of a service it is.

  • Fabby Tovar

    When my father died in 2009 his wake at the funeral home cost about $7000 and that included his cremation. The wake was just for one day. So it is possible that can it cost $10K for her funeral and burial.

  • TEA


  • sympathic subrbanite

    She isn’t looking for a handout-she is just looking for the money that was already donated(that presumably the ‘father’ ,or his family kept) and insurance money, someone paid the premium for a policy, I would guess it would have been her or her employer(no where in this article does it say the mother is not working) so insurance should pay something, even if it was murder-I never knew a life insurance policy didn’t cover murder.

  • FR

    They should drop the charges against the father so that the insurance will cover it. Murder is the least important crime to prosecute because no matter what is done, the murder can’t be un-done, unlike robbery where the stolen items might be found and returned. In this case, criminal charges made the matter worse.

  • Candi Gonzalez-Morales

    Someone please help this mom have peace!!! She needs to have a headstone for MYA where are all the city people that know that they can help! she was murdered in Chicago.

  • Dianne R. Breaux

    The person who thinks this murderer should be set free should go into rehab because they are definitely smoking something. Why let him free to do the same thing to some other innocent child who now doesn’t even have a chance to live. For everything bad that happens, something good always comes out of it. The first thing is that hopefully the judge will give lock him up for a living life of hell, and second is that when the courts takes care of him, God will take over from there.

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