LAFAYETTE — The 16-year-old Florida girl stabbed by her abductor remained in serious condition Friday in a Lafayette hospital, as the man accused of trying to kill her was released from a hospital and booked into jail.
Forty miles east of Lafayette on Friday, Fawn Domingue went to work as usual at Tiger Truck Stop in Grosse Tete, weary from almost two days of at-times unrelenting media attention for her role in recognizing Ashley Lyon and putting Steven Patrick Myers behind bars.
“I didn’t really care much for the excitement,” said Domingue, 28, the mother of a 5-year-old boy. “I’m basically a shy person.”
Myers was booked into jail Friday, one day after surgery to repair the stab wounds he inflicted upon himself. He is accused of crimes in Louisiana and Florida, including the attempted first-degree murder of Lyon on Wednesday night, when he allegedly stabbed her multiple times while fleeing from police.
Domingue was working the cash register at the truck stop Wednesday night when Myers, a registered sex offender from Florida, walked inside with Lyon for a $3.80 pack of L&M shorts — menthol.
Domingue recognized Lyon immediately from a video on Facebook she’d watched before work, one that detailed Lyon’s disappearance June 11 from her Valico, Florida, home and police suspicions that she was with Myers.
Three Iberville Sheriff’s Office deputies, alerted by one of Domingue’s co-workers, started pursuing the pair west on Interstate 10, a chase that grew to include multiple agencies and a growing pack of squad cars. The chase ended in Lafayette after the tires on the stolen truck Myers was driving were destroyed by spikes police laid on the road.
Police and at least one K-9 descended on Myers as he got out of the truck, using a stun gun and the police dog to subdue him as he reportedly stabbed himself. Inside the truck, Lyon was hurt and bleeding from being stabbed, apparently by Myers during or after the chase.
Domingue said an entire chain of events, perhaps divinely inspired, had to occur for her to be behind the counter that particular night and to bring Myers and his young female companion into the store while she was at the register.
- She was not supposed to work Wednesday but filled in for a co-worker unable to fill the shift.
- Before work, Domingue just happened to view a Facebook video that detailed Lyon’s disappearance and Myers’ part in it.
- Myers’ smoking habit drew him into the store section of the truck stop after he and Lyon visited the adjacent restaurant, located about 300 feet behind the store.
“I believe God works in mysterious ways,” said Melissa Macy, a co-worker of Domingue. “God meant for Fawn to work that night.”
Macy had been the first person asked to fill in for the co-worker’s shift on Wednesday but wasn’t able to do it and Domingue stepped in to handle it instead.
The girl Domingue recognized and helped rescue was troubled and vulnerable.
Authorities in Florida say Lyon is bipolar and left her medications at home. Hillsborough County sheriff’s Col. Donna Lusczynski said Myers did not kidnap Lyon but manipulated the fragile girl into accompanying him.
Myers is a Plant City, Florida, resident who had to register as a sex offender. He served two prison sentences in Georgia — on a 1999 child molestation conviction and another conviction for a parole violation. He was released in February 2012.
Myers was booked into the Lafayette Parish Correctional Center on one count each of aggravated criminal damage to property and attempted first-degree murder. He was being held without bond Friday evening.
Domingue said the media circus in Grosse Tete in the last 36 hours has subsided, going from a bevy of Louisiana television news crews along with one from Tampa, Florida, on Thursday, to just one print reporter and a photographer on Friday.
“Stressful, overwhelmed, emotional,” the woman, who was born and raised in Grosse Tete, said in describing her experience over the previous day and a half.
Though she heard that Lyon’s mother flew into Louisiana, Domingue had not heard from her. But a woman named Joan Kelley, who said she was Lyon’s great aunt, called to thank her. “She was very, very grateful,” Domingue said.
The Associated Press contributed to this article.
Editor’s note: This article was changed on Saturday, June 21, 2014, to note that the restaurant section of the truck stop is about 300 feet behind the store where Steven Patrick Myers bought the cigarettes.