Suspect Arrested in Case of Missing Nevada Teen

Troy Driver, 41, is in custody; still no news on whereabouts of Naomi Irion, 18
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 23, 2022 1:55 PM CDT
Updated Mar 26, 2022 8:15 AM CDT
FBI: Teen Was Kidnapped in Her Own Car
This photo taken from store surveillance video and provided by the Lyon County Sheriff's Office, shows Naomi Irion, 18, of Fernley, Nev., making a purchase shortly before authorities say she disappeared before dawn on Saturday, March 12, 2022.   (Lyon County Sheriff's Office via AP, File)

Update: Naomi Irion is still missing, but Nevada cops now have a suspect in her disappearance in custody. KTVN reports that Troy Driver, 41, of Fallon was arrested Friday, with the Lyon County Sheriff's Office noting he's being held on kidnapping charges. Authorities say they've also impounded a pickup truck that was "possibly involved" in the 18-year-old's disappearance on March 12 from the parking lot of a Walmart in Fernley. Officials say the search for Irion continues. Her brother is organizing his own search with volunteers on Saturday, per KTVN. Anyone with any further info is asked to call 775-322-4900. Our original story from Wednesday follows:

The FBI is renewing pleas for help in finding a Nevada teen who hasn't been seen since a man forced his way into her vehicle in a Walmart parking lot nearly two weeks ago. Naomi Irion's disappearance in the early morning hours of March 12 is "suspicious in nature," the Lyon County Sheriff's Office says in a release, per CNN. "She was abducted by a nondescript male who entered the driver's seat of her vehicle," according to the FBI. The 18-year-old—described as 5'11", up to 250 pounds, with brown hair dyed black, green eyes, nose piercings, and a smiley face tattoo on one ankle—arrived at the parking lot in Fernley around 5am with plans to catch a shuttle to her job at Panasonic Energy of North America.

Irion—said to be wearing a blue Panasonic shirt, gray cardigan sweater, and gray sweatpants—visited a convenience store before parking outside the Walmart. She scrolled social media between 5:09am and 5:23am, per CNN. A minute later, a man in a gray hoodie and dark pants approached her vehicle. He was observed behind the wheel as the vehicle left the parking lot at 5:25am. "This person did say or do something to Naomi to make her move over from the driver side to the passenger side," Irion's older brother and housemate Casey Valley said at a recent press conference, per the Independent. Irion's phone stopped emitting a signal a few miles away. Her vehicle was found March 15, not far from the Walmart.

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Authorities have released surveillance footage of the suspect, who they say may be driving a dark 2020 or newer Chevrolet Silverado 2500-3500 High Country pickup truck. "We're releasing everything we can," Lyon County Sheriff's Deputy Eric Kusmerz said at a Tuesday press conference, per the Independent, though he added "there's a lot more that we know." "We need everyone's help across the nation because the incident happened so close to I-80," added Irion's mother, Diane Irion, who traveled 36 hours from her home in South Africa with funds raised on GoFundMe, per CNN and the Independent. "She could be anywhere." (More abduction stories.)

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