4-year-old tips police to mother's slaying, person of interest arrested

CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - Cleveland Police have arrested a person of interest in the murder of a 42-year-old woman on the city's eastside.

Maurice Lyons was arrested shortly after noon at Tower City.

This, after an abandoned toddler was found in the middle of the road at East 28th and Cedar late Sunday evening.

Neighbors found the 4-year-old boy and immediately called 911. Investigators arrived on scene and took the child to family services. After talking to the toddler, police were led back to the child's home located on the 17500 block of Walden Avenue where they found his fatally stabbed mother in the garage around 1:30 a.m. Monday morning.

Family members identify the victim as Tonya Hunter-Lyons. She is a licensed social worker and family therapist. She's been in practice for six years and is a graduate of Case Western University. Her aunt and uncle say that she had just completed work on her PhD.

She was recently married, but was already thinking of leaving her husband, 38-year-old Maurice Lyons.

"I know that she had been complaining about him, you know, hitting on her and jumping on her and stuff like that," said Rudy Thornton.

"All we know is she married this fella and we know she's getting a divorce from him," said Sandra Thornton. "She been married to him for about eight months or so. We tried to talk to her."

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