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A Nevada man previously arrested for kidnapping a missing Nevada teenager was formally charged in connection with her death on Friday.
Troy Driver, 41, of Fallon, Nev., now stands accused of kidnapping and murder in the first degree with the use of a deadly weapon over the mid-March shooting death of 18-year-old Naomi Irion. The defendant has also been charged with burglary, robbery of a motor vehicle, and destroying or concealing evidence.
On March 29, 2022, the deceased woman was found in a “remote part” of Churchill County, Nev. that was described as a “gravesite” by the Lyon County Sheriff’s Office. That discovery came just days after the defendant was arrested for allegedly kidnapping the teen from a Walmart parking lot as she waited for a shuttle to take her to a nearby Panasonic factory where she worked in the battery manufacturing department.
While the suspect has now been charged with the woman’s death, some details about the slaying still appear to be unknown.
According to a criminal complaint obtained by Reno NBC and FOX affiliates KRNV and KRXI, Lyon County District Attorney Stephen Rye alleges that Driver shot and killed Irion somewhere in a northern part of rural Nevada between March 12 and March 25.
Earlier this week, the Churchill County Sheriff’s Office, the Churchill County Coroner’s Office, and the LCSO, in a joint press release, said the victim died from gunshot wounds to her head and chest.
According to the complaint, Driver kidnapped Irion “for the purpose of committing sexual assault and/or purpose of killing her.” Buoyed by surveillance footage from the parking lot, prosecutors allege the defendant entered the victim’s 1992 Mercury Sable with her inside of it for the purpose of committing larceny or assault and battery.
The complaint further alleges that Driver made efforts to cover up the murder by destroying Irion’s cellular phone or concealing its location throughout various counties in the Silver State. The defendant also changed out the tires on his truck in order to destroy evidence and evade connection with the kidnapping and subsequent murder, prosecutors allege.
Driver is currently being held without bond in the Lyon County Jail located in Yerington, Nev. He appeared for a court hearing virtually on Friday morning where Judge Lori Matheus made the bail determination after the new slate of charges against him were read.
Driver was previously being held on $750,000 bail in the small community some 30 miles east of Reno.
Irion lived in nearby Fernley, Nev. with her brother Casey Valley. Valley filed the original missing persons report, led multiple search efforts, and helmed a media campaign aimed at turning up evidence to locate his sister. The woman’s body was ultimately discovered after investigators received a tip that led them to the area. The identity of the remains was confirmed by law enforcement the next day.
“Every day we’re trying to make sure we do whatever we need to do to make sure Naomi gets justice,” Valley said outside of the court house after the Friday hearing — saying his family was relieved the defendant would not be released from jail. “Naomi is not suffering. We need to take whatever peace we can get from that.”
Naomi’s brother Casey Valley says it’s a relief to know that Driver can’t harm anyone else pic.twitter.com/bD1SfIeMgn
— Ben Margiott (@BenMargiott) April 8, 2022
“It’s hard to bring this all down to reality,” he continued in comments reported by the Reno Gazette Journal. “Intellectually, you might know this happens but you don’t really know until it happens this close to home. It is important for me to be here because Naomi was my responsibility. I’m her big brother. This is my job.”
The complaint is embedded below:
[image of Naomi Irion via FBI; Troy Driver via Lyon County Sheriff’s Office]
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