Suspect faces murder charge in 18-year-old’s kidnapping

A recent photo of Naomi Irion posted on Instagram on January 31, 2022.
A recent photo of Naomi Irion posted on Instagram on January 31, 2022.(Lyon County Sheriff's Office)
Published: Apr. 3, 2022 at 4:05 AM EDT
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FERNLEY, Nev. (KOLO) - The man accused of kidnapping 18-year-old Naomi Irion from a Walmart parking lot in Nevada has been booked on a murder charge, according to the sheriff’s office.

Troy Driver, 41, is charged with open murder, burglary and destruction of evidence, the Lyon County Sheriff’s Office said Friday afternoon. Open murder means the crime could have been first-degree murder, done with premeditation, or manslaughter, KOLO reports.

The sheriff’s office did not elaborate on details of the murder, but it is alleged to have been done with a deadly weapon.

The Churchill County Sheriff’s Office said Naomi Irion’s body was found Tuesday in a shallow gravesite in the area of Coal Canyon Road, which is northeast of Fallon in Churchill County. Her death is being investigated as a homicide.

The sheriff’s office said her exact cause of death is known. However, they are not releasing it at this time because “if released [it] would compromise the ongoing investigation.”

Driver was arrested March 25 and initially charged with first-degree kidnapping. He is being held on $750,000 bail.

Authorities believe Naomi Irion was kidnapped March 12 while sitting in her car at a Walmart in Fernley, waiting for the shuttle to take her to Panasonic at the Reno Tahoe Industrial Center where she worked. A suspect is seen on surveillance video walking outside Walmart moments before getting into the 18-year-old’s car and driving off with her inside.

Deputies found the car March 15 in a Fernley industrial park. They say evidence found inside suggested her disappearance was criminal in nature.

The Irion family says they will appear in court to support the prosecution of Driver. The victim’s mother says she wants the focus to be on her daughter, not the man she says is behind her murder.

“I refuse to say his name,” said Diana Irion, Naomi’s mother. “I will say my daughter’s name, Naomi Christine Irion, 18 years old. Let’s make Naomi famous. Let’s not make an animal that murdered her famous.”

Driver’s next hearing is set for April 5.

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