On January 5th, 2023, a horrific tragedy struck the Lyda family in Tulsa, Oklahoma, when the 12-year-old daughter of April Lyda stabbed her 9-year-old brother Zander Lyda to death. The murder sent shockwaves through the local community and gained national media attention.
Background of the Lyda Family
The Lyda family consisted of single mother April Lyda and her three children – Zander Lyda, his 12-year-old sister (name withheld), and a younger half-brother.
April described her two older children as having a close relationship, often doing yoga together and going on trips.
Their family lived in an apartment in the St. Thomas Square neighborhood of downtown Tulsa.
The children’s fathers were not involved in their daily lives. April worked hard as a single mother to provide for them financially, emotionally, and spiritually, raising them with Christian values.
According to April, the 12-year-old girl showed no previous signs of violence or behavioral issues. She was a normal, happy preteen who enjoyed school and had never even yelled at her mother.
As April stated, “She was as normal as your child. As any 12-year-old child who was not allowed to cuss or watch scary evil movies, she was just starting to rebel but she was also just going through normal teenage things, so no there were no signs that would have warned any of us that she was a threat.”
The Murder of Zander Lyda – Tragic Night of January 5th
On the night of January 5th, Zander Lyda was at home, awake in his bedroom. His mother April thought he was asleep, not realizing he had been staying up late during his school break.
Around midnight, April was awoken by screams coming from Zander’s room. She rushed in to find him bleeding from multiple stab wounds in his chest. The 12-year-old girl immediately ran outside, crying and apologizing profusely.
Around midnight on January 5th, police responded to Lyda’s home after receiving a 911 call from April Lyda reporting Zander had been stabbed.
Bodycam footage shows a distraught April crying for help next to her bleeding son. The 12-year-old girl immediately ran outside when police arrived, confessing on camera to stabbing her brother.
Additional bodycam footage documents her re-enacting the crime and leading police to where she disposed of the knife out a window.
Zander was rushed to the hospital in critical condition but sadly passed away from his injuries shortly after arriving. Meanwhile, his distraught sister was taken into custody.
The Aftermath – Grief, Confusion, and Seeking Answers
April Lyda was overwhelmed by shock, confusion, and grief. She could not fathom how her seemingly normal daughter could commit such a horrific act against her beloved younger brother.
In the days following Zander’s murder, April searched for answers. She learned her daughter had confided troubling thoughts about wanting to stab her brother to some friends weeks earlier.
April also noticed changes in her daughter’s behavior that she now sees as possible red flags.
The girl had started spending more time alone in her room and isolating herself. April dismissed this at the time as normal adolescent behavior.
While April saw no signs her daughter posed a physical threat, in hindsight these were alarming changes preceding the unthinkable violence.
April also believes a recent medication change may have triggered a manic episode that led to unthinkable violence.
Her daughter had been put back on ADHD medication which made her irritable and angry. April took her off it after she started cutting herself, but felt the damage was already done.
The 12-year-old girl claims she stabbed Zander while in some sort of demonic trance and has no idea why she did it.
She expresses deep remorse over killing her brother who she loved dearly, telling her mother “I’m so sorry, I don’t know what happened! It’s some demonic s***!”
April Lyda Seeking Justice for Zander Lyda While Maintaining Love
The murder of Zander Lyda is an unfathomable tragedy that left deep wounds within the Lyda family. While April grieves the loss of her young son, she also feels the pain of essentially losing her daughter as well.
The 12-year-old girl remains in a juvenile detention facility receiving psychiatric treatment and care. The exact charges against her are sealed due to her age.
April faces criticism from some who feel she should not stand by her daughter after what she did.
However, this grieving mother insists on maintaining love and support for the girl she believes was heavily influenced by medication and mental health issues.
In a GoFundMe update, April stated “I’m very supportive of her and love her very much, obviously there is a lot of healing that we both need before we can ever live together again and she needs mental and emotional help after this.”
April advocates for getting her daughter home eventually after extensive treatment. She feels intense guilt over not protecting Zander but also wants justice for both of her children in this devastating situation.
The Lyda family murder exposes complex issues of mental health, juvenile violence, and the dangers of medication.
There are still more questions than answers, as the court process and investigations continue to determine the full truth behind this tragedy.
April Lyda courageously shares her painful story to raise awareness and seek change to prevent such profound loss and trauma from ever afflicting another family.
She hopes that by speaking out, the memory and light of her son Zander will live on.
Where is Zander Lyda’s Sister Now?
After the murder, Zander’s 12-year-old sister was taken into custody by police and transported to the Tulsa County Juvenile Center – one of two juvenile detention facilities in the city.
Given her young age of 12 at the time of the crime, it is unlikely she will face serious long-term consequences.
Legal experts state that had she been 13, Oklahoma law would have allowed transferring her case to adult court where she could have faced life imprisonment.
However, the maximum sentence for a 12-year-old is generally a few years in the juvenile justice system.
According to sources familiar with such cases, she would likely not be detained beyond age 18 given her age and the uniqueness of the case. Typical sentences range from 6 months to 18 months.
The preteen’s ultimate fate rests in the hands of the court system. For now, she remains confined, undergoing intensive psychiatric treatment and care at the juvenile facility.
The duration of her detention and rehabilitation is still to be decided as her criminal case progresses. But the aim is to get this deeply troubled girl the help she needs while ensuring justice for her brother.
Timeline of Events
- January 5th, 2023: 12-year-old girl stabs her 9-year-old brother Zander Lyda in their Tulsa home around midnight. Zander is rushed to the hospital but passes away from his injuries.
- January 6th, 2023: Police arrest the 12-year-old sister and release disturbing bodycam footage of her confessing and reenacting the murder.
- January to June 2023: The 12-year-old girl is held in a juvenile facility in Tulsa and undergoes psychiatric treatment. Details of the criminal case remain sealed due to her age.
- May 26th, 2023: More bodycam footage is released showing the immediate aftermath of the murder.
- May 27th, 2023: April Lyda posts an update on GoFundMe, standing by her daughter despite the tragedy and advocating for her to eventually come home after extensive treatment.
- June 2023: April Lyda gives interviews to media outlets like NewsNation, providing background on her family and sharing her belief that medication influenced her daughter’s actions.
The tragic murder of Zander Lyda is still an unfolding story with many unanswered questions. As the family and investigators search for solutions, they hope meaningful change can come from this devastating loss.
After reading about the murder of Zander Lyda, read about Isabella Guzman – the teen girl who stabbed her mom 79 times & went viral on TikTok.
FAQs on the Murder of Zander Lyda
Zander Lyda was 9 years old when he was tragically stabbed to death on January 5th, 2023. He was just a child when his life was cut short by this horrific act of violence.
According to reports, Zander was in his bedroom late at night trying to sleep when his 12-year-old sister came in and stabbed him multiple times in the chest and torso.
Zander was killed inside the Lyda family’s apartment home located in the St. Thomas Square neighborhood of downtown Tulsa, Oklahoma.
When questioned after the murder, Zander’s sister claimed she stabbed him while in a demonic trance and did not know why she did it. She expressed remorse over killing her brother who she loved.
Zander’s 12-year-old sister was arrested and has been held in a juvenile detention facility receiving psychiatric treatment while her sealed case progresses through the justice system.