The body of an 18-year-old woman, who has not been seen in nearly three weeks, has been found in a remote area of Nevada, authorities said on Wednesday.
Naomi Irion wassaid the FBI.
The Churchill and Lyon County Sheriff’s Offices said investigators went to a remote part of Churchill County on Tuesday after receiving a lead.
It “led her to a possible burial site” where “the body of an adult Caucasian woman was recovered,” the bureaus said.
The remains were taken to the Washoe County Medical Examiner’s Office for autopsy and identification. On Wednesday, the remains were confirmed to be those of Irion, the bureaus said.
“We would like to extend our sympathy and condolences to the Irion family and thank all of the volunteers for their hard work in trying to find Naomi and bring the family to closure,” the offices added.
A 41-year-old Nevada man, Troy Driver, was arrested March 25 on kidnapping allegations related to Irion’s disappearance. It was unclear if he would be charged in Irion’s death.
CBS-Reno affiliate KTVN-TV, citing the Ukiah (California) Daily Journal, says Driver has a criminal record, including pleading guilty to murder for his role in a 1997 murder in Willits, Calif. He was 17 then.
Irion was last seen in the Walmart parking lot in Fernley, Nevada, just after 5am on March 12. She usually parked her car there and took a Panasonic employee bus to work. The FBI says she was abducted from the parking lot “by an inconspicuous man.”
Surveillance footage released by the Lyon County Sheriff’s Office shows a potential male suspect walking toward the area where Irion’s car was parked. However, it is not clear if the person in the video is the driver.
The man in the video walked into the Walmart parking lot from a nearby homeless camp in jeans and a gray hoodie.
Irion’s older brother, Casey Valley, said he saw unreleased security camera footage of the suspect’s encounter with Irion after reporting her missing.
He said the footage showed an unidentified man approaching her car, opening the driver’s seat door and then saying something that forced Naomi to freeze and move. The suspect then climbs into the driver’s seat and drives off with Naomi in the passenger seat.
Sheriff’s deputies found Irion’s abandoned car in Fernley on March 15. Evidence found in the abandoned car suggested her disappearance was criminal in nature, the Lyon County Sheriff’s Office said.
A spokesman for the Lyon County Sheriff’s Office said Driver was charged with first-degree kidnapping and is being held on $750,000 bail. The judge ruled that if the driver posted bail, he would be placed under increased surveillance with a GPS monitor.
A pretrial hearing was scheduled for April 5 and a preliminary hearing for April 12.