William Thomas Lyles, 21, was killed in Lafayette, Louisiana 09/10/95. At the time of his death, he was a sophomore at University of Southwestern Louisiana at Lafayette.1
William was born in Cottonport and was a 1992 graduate of Bunkie High School. He’s lovingly remembered by his mother as a “kind hearted, nice boy.”2
He’s survived by father William F. Lyles, Jr., siblings Paul, Michael and Jeannette.3 His mother Sharon and stepfather Ronald Tassin passed away in 2011 and 2020, respectively, without knowing the identity of the person(s) responsible for her son’s murder.4 William is interred at St. Mary’s Catholic Cemetery #2 in Cottonport5
William was last seen leaving his residence at approx 3:30am 09/10/95, having spent a night out with friends 09/09/95. His body was found 09/10/95 at approx 9am in the Vermillion River, near his partially submerged blue Hyundai. He’d been beaten, and dragged down the boat ramp at Louisiana Avenue and Interstate 10. Autopsy found he was unconscious when left in the water, and subsequently drowned.6
My research revealed very little about the crime against William or his background. If you have a reputable source of information for either, please let me know so it can be incorporated into this summary.
William’s case was featured on the Sally Jesse Raphael show. His mother Sharon and stepfather Ronald appeared as part of the unsolved murders episode.2 [ possibly MURDER, REVENGE, CRIME…CAUGHT ON TAPE! segment aired 09/12/01 ]
“We have no explanation for why this happened, but we aren’t giving up… I’m hoping someone involved will… have enough regret to make a call.” Sharon Tassin, mother
Lafayette Parish Sheriff’s Office is working to solve the William Thomas Lyles case and bring his killer(s) to justice. If you have information about this crime, please call (337) 232-9211.
Please submit corrections/updates here.
Submit corrections/updates here.
- Alexandria Town Talk: Briefs-Homicide suspected, page D1, published 09/15/95.
- The Bunkie Record: Unsolved murder to be featured, front page, published 04/26/01.
- Alexandria Town Talk: Obituary-William Thomas Lyles, page D-2, published 09/13/95
- Find A Grave: Sharon Kay Reynolds Tassin and Ronald Joseph Tassin, accessed 12/11/20.
- Find A Grave: William Thomas Lyles, accessed 12/11/20.
- Lafayette Advertiser: Clues sought into local murder, page A3, published 09/28/95.