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Sunday, Jun 24, 2018
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Arrest warrant issued for suspect in Valrico girl's disappearance

UPDATE: Ashley Lyon was found Thursday morning in Louisiana in critical condition with stab wounds. Steven Myers was taken into custody following a police pursuit. Details on the arrest.

A nationwide arrest warrant was issued today for a registered sex offender from Georgia who is suspected of abducting a 16-year-old Valrico girl.

The Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office said probable cause was established to obtain the warrant for Steven Myers on charges of interference with child custody and attempted unlawful sexual activity with a minor.

Bond was set at $50,000 for Myers, a 41-year-old registered sex offender who served time in a Georgia prison, according to the sheriff's office.

On Monday, the family of Ashley Lyon said it is offering a $5,000 reward for information that helps investigators find the girl, who was last seen in the area on Wednesday.

Sean Lyon, the girl's 19-year-old brother, said Ashley became acquainted with Myers about six months ago through his two teenage sons who lived down the street from her family's Twin Lakes subdivision home.

Myers moved from Georgia to Plant City, where he was staying with his mother, Sean Lyon said.

His ex-wife and two sons live in the Twin Lakes subdivision, and Myers started coming over in January to do repairs in the home and as a way for him to become reacquainted with his children, he said.

Myers began to socialize with his children's friends, including Ashley, Sean Lyon said. They would hang out near a bridge, a creek and on the driveway of a home. The teenagers started to call him Dad, Sean Lyon said.

The family didn't worry, though, he said, until they were contacted a few weeks ago by Hillsborough County Sheriff's deputies. Myers, the deputies said, was a registered sex offender.

Sean Lyon said he saw Myers driving his black 1989 Ford Ranger pickup in the direction his sister — a student at Newsome High School in Lithia – was last seen. The vehicle has distinctive flames spray painted on the hood and on the side of the vehicle. The license tag number is CSJ-M45.

Anyone with information on Ashley or Myers is asked to contact the sheriff's office at (813) 247-8200.

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