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A 16-year-old Florida girl reported missing a week ago is recovering from stab wounds in a Lafayette hospital after the sex offender she was traveling with led law enforcement officers on a 40-mile chase along Interstate 10 late Wednesday, authorities said.

“She’s in guarded, but stable condition,” Iberville Parish Sheriff Brett Stassi said. “It was critical last night.”

The chase began around 11 p.m. after a witness recognized the girl at the Tiger Truck Stop in Grosse Tete.

“A person just happened to see it on some newscast they hardly ever watched and recognized the girl,” Iberville Chief Deputy Stephen Engolio said.

The Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office in Tampa, Fla. had reported Ashley Lyon, of Valrico, missing since 4 p.m. June 11 and likely in the company of registered sexual offender Steven Patrick Myers, 41, of 6801 N. Dormany Road in Plant City, Fla.

As soon as a deputy pulled into the Tiger Truck Stop parking lot, Myers took off with Lyon, racing east along Interstate 10, Engolio said.

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