July 2, 2022

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Body of 18-year-old Naomi Irion, kidnapped outside Walmart, found

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The body of a woman who vanished from a Walmart parking lot earlier this month has been identified at a remote gravesite in Nevada, authorities said on Wednesday.

Naomi Irion, 18, was found east of Reno on Tuesday after detectives received a tip leading them to that area, the sheriff’s offices in Churchill and Lyon counties said in a joint statement issued on their social media pages.

The Washoe County Medical Examiner confirmed her identity on Wednesday, according to the statement.

“No further information can be released at this time as this is still an open and active investigation,” the statement said.

“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.”

Newsweek has contacted Irion’s brother Casey Valley for comment.

In a social media post late on Wednesday, Valley said: “I can’t believe this. I’m at a loss for words. Thanks to everyone for your support. Now comes a different kind of effort. Naomi was taken away from us far too soon.”

Irion was last seen in her car at around 5 a.m. March 12 at a Walmart parking lot in Fernley, Nevada, where she usually catches the shuttle for her job at a nearby Panasonic plant.

On Wednesday, suspect Troy Driver, 41, attended a bail hearing on charges of first-degree kidnapping in Irion’s disappearance. His bail was set at $750,000, according to the Lyon County Sheriff’s Office. If Driver posts bail, he will be placed on enhanced supervision with a GPS monitor to determine his precise location at all times.

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KRNV reported that in the criminal complaint, prosecutors alleged that Driver abducted Irion on March 12 “with the purpose of committing sexual assault and/or for the purpose of killing her.”

A pretrial hearing has been scheduled for April 5 and a preliminary hearing for April 12.

Security footage released by the Lyon County’s Sheriff’s Office after Irion’s disappearance shows what looks like a male suspect kidnapping her after going into her car. The footage shows the man is wearing jeans and a gray, hooded sweatshirt, who is seen walking from a nearby homeless camp into the Walmart parking lot.

The suspect then got into the driver’s seat of Irion’s vehicle and left.

Irion’s four-door sedan was found by detectives in a nearby industrial area in Fernley on March 15, two days after she was reported missing.

A stock image of police taping. A woman who vanished from a Walmart parking lot earlier this month has been identified at a remote gravesite in Nevada, authorities said on Wednesday.
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