It was March 1 that 2-year-old Myra Lewis disappeared from her home in Camden, seemingly into thin air.
The toddler was in the front yard when her mother and brother left for the store. Her father, who was tending to an infant in a back bedroom, didn’t realize she was missing right away. That kicked off a massive weeks-long manhunt. Now investigators are stumped as to where she could have gone.
On Thursday, Madison County Sheriff Randy Tucker held a press conference to ask people everywhere to please keep their eyes and ears open and to report anything they know, no matter how insignificant it might seem.
“We need the help. We’re asking you guys to keep the story alive and keep her picture out there. Someone is going to match it up,” he said. “When you start getting tips from a broader area, you have to give some credence to the possibility she could be in another state or another part of the country.”
But Tucker said he still believes the toddler is alive somewhere. His explanation for that is not scientific, but it’s simple.
“Because I don’t have any evidence to the contrary and I’m an optimist,” Tucker said.
Myra’s mother, Ericka Lewis, is currently in jail for a probation violation stemming from when police found guns inside her home. Since she was on probation for felony foodstamp fraud, she was charged with being a felon in possession of firearms. Tucker said although the timing of her arrest a week after Myra went missing was unfortunate, that the law is still the law.
“It’s a felony crime, so any felony is a serious charge. Once you’re convicted of a felony, you’re not supposed to have firearms and if you do, it’s another felony,” he said. “They were in the home right beside her bed. She had dominion and control over them, yes.”
Madison County District Attorney Michael Guest said she also had not paid court costs and supervision fees.
“The sheriff’s department and the Department of Corrections can’t overlook the fact that while she is the mother of a victim in this case, she cannot violate the terms and conditions of her probation,” he said.
But Guest also asserted that Ericka Lewis is not in jail because law enforcement are trying to extract information from her.
“She has cooperated with the investigation, she and the other family members,” he said.
Tucker said Ericka Lewis has not been questioned again since the initial investigation. In fact, he said, his department and the family have kept in touch, but not closely.
“We haven’t had a lot of direct contact with the family, but any tip we get, we call them. Anything they get, they call us,” he said. “They still want their baby home.”
Investigators want her home too, Tucker said.
“It’s absolutely heartbreaking, frustrating, All the adjectives you can put with it, it is,” he said. “I go to bed thinking about her, I wake up thinking about her, about what we haven’t done or what we could do. I think we’ve pretty well exhausted all the footwork. We need the community’s help. We need that one tip that will lead us to her.”