A young girl was stabbed to death Monday in an alley outside her father's South Side home, according to authorities.
Mya Lyons was found near the 8400 block of South Gilbert Court in the Auburn Gresham neighborhood, authorities said. Although authorities say she was 8, her grandfather, Orlando Barnes, said she was 9.
Chicago police were releasing few details about the investigation, but a police spokeswoman said Mya's father found her and brought her to Jackson Park Hospital, where she was pronounced dead.
At a news conference near the scene Tuesday morning, police refused to either confirm or deny a statement from the girl's grandfather that she had been raped. Nor would they describe the extent of her wounds.
Asked if Mya had been kidnapped from her father's house, Chief of Detectives Thomas Byrne said, "Right now, we feel she was out of her residence of her own volition."
He said police are continuing to canvass the area and look for possible video that may help them solve the crime, as well as ask residents to report any suspicious activity they may have witnessed.
"We're going to look into any possible angle," he said. "Do we have a suspect in mind right now? No."
"It's an isolated spot [where the body was found]," added Gresham Police District Cmdr. Mike Kuemmeth. "If a person left the scene, somebody had to see it."
The girl's family is cooperating with investigators, Byrne said, adding that the girl's father was not a suspect.
Barnes told reporters that Mya's father came home Monday night and discovered the child was not in her room. Her father, along with neighbors, then began looking at about 11 p.m. for her. When Mya's father went in the alley at the end of the street, Barnes said, the father saw her lying there.
At a separate news conference, Mayor Richard Daley also asked for the public's help. "Let's get this individual and put him in jail for the rest of his life or give him the death penalty," he said.
Daley also defended Chicago Police Supt. Jody Weis, who appeared before a City Council committee Tuesday morning to answer questions about a spike in crime. "Don't blame Chicago police. Don't blame Supt. Weis," he said.
A Cook County medical examiner's office spokesman said an autopsy for Mya was scheduled for later Tuesday.
Barnes said Mya had lived in suburban Addison with her mother most of the year. He said she wanted to stay with her father for the summer.
A neighbor, Lakenya Horne, said her daughters were playing with Mya Monday afternoon. She said she last saw Mya about 7 Monday night.
"It's so sad. It makes your soul cringe since it was so close. It could've been any one of our kids," Horne said.
She said her children aren't allowed to play in the alley where Mya was found.
Tuesday morning, a pile of sand covered the area of the path where neighbors say Mya was found. The alley is heavy with trees, brush and weeds and lies below elevated Metra train tracks.
Police roped off most of the block and could be seen going in and out of neighboring houses.