Her nickname was 'hair genius': Family and friends remember Baltimore couple killed in Upton

Sean and Mykia Dyer were killed Jan. 23 on the 1300 block of Division St.
Sean and Mykia Dyer were killed Jan. 23 on the 1300 block of Division St. (Photo courtesy Tavon Dyer)

The salon in Loch Raven was quiet except for the news on TV. Elvia Pledger sat underneath a hair dryer, her hair in clips, a towel pinned around her neck.

For the past nine years, she’s been coming to the salon to have her hair done by Mykia Dyer.


“Her nickname was ‘hair genius,’” said Pledger.

Pledger talked about her stylist on her first visit to the shop since Dyer, 29, was killed on Jan. 23. According to Baltimore police, she and her husband, Sean Dyer, 34, were both shot and killed in the 1300 block of Division St. in Upton.


The Dyers died just over a week before the beginning of the most recent Baltimore Ceasefire. Since the Ceasefire began on Feb. 2, the city has seen 11 days without a killing, the longest stretch since 2015.

According to Erricka Bridgeford, one of the organizers of the Ceasefire and a friend of the couple’s, Mykia Dyer had driven to pick up her husband at a house where he was staying. He went in to change, and when he came out, they were both shot by an assailant. They were taken to the hospital where they were pronounced dead.

Police said no arrest has been made in the killings, and homicide detectives are continuing to investigate. Anyone with information may call 410-396-2100 or Metro Crime Stoppers at 1-866-7LOCKUP. Tips can be texted to 443-902-4824.

Mykia Dyer — one of 27 homicide victims in the new year — was fun and full of life, Pledger said. She loved to travel. In fact, Pledger said, she and Dyer had discussed taking a trip to Barbados together.

Pledger recalled that after her own husband’s death — when she wondered if she would ever laugh again — it was Mykia who could make her giggle. If she was still here, Pledger said, “right now, everybody would be laughing.”

Instead, Pledger cried as Dyer’s co-worker, Tameka Brown, styled her hair.

When it came to love, Pledger said, her stylist “didn’t take my advice.”

“She was like a moth to a flame,” added Brown.

Tavon Dyer, Sean Dyer’s older brother, said of his sister-in-law: “All Mykia would talk about was Sean.”

He acknowledged that his younger brother had earned a negative reputation for himself on the streets. But to Tavon Dyer, Sean was his “little twin,” the kid who cried when Tavon joined the military.

He said when he came home on leave, the two would spend summer days together, shooting hoops, heading to Crazy John’s for pizza. There were family cookouts and visits to their grandmother.

More than 1,000 people have been killed in Baltimore in the last three years. More than 1,000 people were shot in 2017 alone. As another historic year of violence blurs into history, and the page is turned to 2018, this is the reality: Baltimore is not just losing blood, it is hemorrhaging it.

Dyer said that over the years, his younger brother worked jobs in retail and a stint at McDonald’s. But there were also traffic charges, drug charges and gun charges, including some convictions and jail time, according to online records.

“They got married in jail,” Brown said of Mykia and Sean.

Bridgeford said she had been rooting for the couple. She said she knew Sean Dyer as a devoted dad and believed he was trying to do better.

“He was just getting his life on a good path,” she said.

The couple had talked about leaving Baltimore, of making a fresh start somewhere else, in a new city. Tavon Dyer said his brother’s relationship with Mykia made him want to change.

“He was changing,” he said. “Of course, he ran out of time.”

Brown said in the aftermath of her co-worker’s death, she was “in disbelief.”

“I’m just grief-walking,” she said as she snapped a hair curler into place.

Brown said since Mykia started working at the salon in high school, she had only ever missed three days of work:

The day her son was born.

One day when the boy was sick.

And the day she was killed on Division Street.

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