18-Year-Old Nevada Woman Was Abducted and Found Dead in Remote Grave, Police Say
Troy Driver, 41, of Fallon, Nevada, was arrested last week and charged with kidnapping by the Lyon County Sheriff’s Office.
The body of an 18-year-old Nevada woman who had reportedly been abducted from a Walmart parking lot and missing for nearly three weeks was found dead in a gravesite in a remote part of Nevada, officials said, according to published news reports.
On Wednesday, the authorities confirmed that the body of the young woman found was Naomi Irion, according to Fox News.
“The body of an adult Caucasian female was recovered from that gravesite, the body was transported to the Washoe County Medical Examiners Office for an autopsy and to confirm identification,” Churchill County Sheriff’s Office said in a joint statement with the Lyon County Sheriff’s Office on Tuesday.
The grim discovery was made after investigators from the authorities responded to a tip on Tuesday night that led them to a gravesite, according to police, the statement said.
According to a criminal complaint filed in the Justice Court of Canal Township in and for the County of Lyon State on Wednesday, obtained by Inside Edition Digital, prosecutors alleged the defendant, Troy E. Driver, "did abduct Naomi Irion and did hold or detain her for the purpose of committing sexual assault and/or for the purpose of killing her."
Police said Irion had parked her car in a Walmart parking lot in Fernley, Nevada, on the morning of March 12 waiting to catch a shuttle bus to her job at the Panasonic facility in Reno, when she was abducted, Fox News reported.
At 5:24 a.m., surveillance footage showed a man wearing a gray hooded sweatshirt, dark pants or jeans, and dark tennis shoes, approaching Irion's car, CNN reported.
Detective Erik Kusmerz with the Lyon County Sheriff's Office said Irion’s vehicle was seen leaving the parking lot with the man driving. Her car was found near the Walmart three days later, the news outlet reported.
Phone records showed that moments before Irion disappeared that she had been active on social media up to 5 a.m., and had received a Snapchat minutes before she vanished, officials said, according to a previously reported story in The New York Post.
Since the teen went missing, law enforcement agencies from the local, state and federal levels were involved in the comprehensive search to locate the young woman, according to The New York Post.
Casey Valley, Irion’s brother, organized his own search efforts hoping to find his sister, The New York Post reported.
On Monday, the FBI had put up a $10,000 reward for any information leading to the young woman’s whereabouts, according to a story previously reported by The New York Post.
Troy Driver, 41, of Fallon, Nevada, was arrested last week and charged with kidnapping by the Lyon County Sheriff’s Office, Fox News reported.
Driver is being held at the Lyon County Detention Facility, according to CNN.
On Wednesday, he was scheduled to appear via video conference before Judge Lori Matheus at the Canal Township Justice Court, according to the New York Post. The judge set bail at $750,000, the news outlet reported.
Matheus said if Driver posts bail, he will not be released from custody until a GPS monitoring device is installed, according to CNN. Other conditions to his release include enhanced supervision and no contact with the victim's family, CNN reported.
During the hearing, Irion’s family was in court but did not make any statements, the news outlet reported.
Driver’s next court date is April 5th at 10 a.m., and a preliminary hearing is scheduled to take place April 12, according to a clerk at the Fernley Canal Justice Court.
When Inside Edition Digital reached out to Driver’s attorney Mario Walther, he did not respond to requests for comment.
Irion, whose father works for the U.S. State Department in the foreign service, traveled around the world and grew up in several countries with her family, according to Fox News.
In August, Irion moved from South Africa to Nevada and was living with her brother, Casey Valley, in Nevada, the news outlet reported.
Irion’s siblings have been overcome with grief and are still stunned by the news of their sister’s tragic murder.
“I can’t believe this. I’m at a loss for words,” Valley wrote on Facebook. “Now comes a different kind of effort. Naomi was taken away from us far too soon.”
Tamara Cartwright, Irion's sister, wrote: "My sister is gone. Please pray for comfort for our family,” reported Fox News.
Police are investigating the case and expressed their condolences to the Irion family in a released statement.
“We would like to extend our sympathy and condolences to the Irion family and thank all the volunteers for their hard work in trying to find Naomi and bring closure to the family. The Churchill County Sheriff’s Office and the Lyon County Sheriff’s Office will continue to work closely on these cases,” the sheriff wrote in a statement.
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