Nevada woman disappears from Walmart; brother says video shows masked man forcing himself into her car
The brother of a Nevada woman who disappeared Saturday from a Walmart parking lot said chilling surveillance video shows a man forcing his way into her car before driving away.
Naomi Irion, 18, of Fernley, was last seen about 5 a.m. at the store’s parking lot, according to a Wednesday statement from the Lyon County Sheriff’s Office.
Irion’s four-door sedan was later found in an industrial area in Fernley, and a suspect believed to be driving a dark, newer model Chevrolet High Country pickup may know her whereabouts, police said.
Irion’s older brother, Casey Valley, 32, said Thursday that surveillance footage from Walmart shows a man in a mask and hoodie walk to the parking lot from the direction of a dirt lot, circle his sister’s car and then force his way in.
‘He circled around the parking lot maybe to make sure there were no witnesses,’ Valley said. ‘He came up behind the car and forced his way into the driver’s side of the car. Maybe her door was unlocked. He either said or did something to make her move to the passenger seat, and then he drove her car away into an unknown direction.’
Representatives with the Lyon County Sheriff’s Office could not be reached Thursday to corroborate Valley’s account. Valley also told NBC affiliate KRNV in Reno about the video.
‘The forensic evidence discovered, to date, continues to lead Lyon County Investigators to believe Naomi’s disappearance is suspicious in nature,’ the sheriff’s office statement said. ‘The Lyon County Sheriff’s Office is seeking any information regarding the disappearance and whereabouts of Naomi Irion, the Chevrolet pickup vehicle and/or information concerning possible contacts that persons may have had with Naomi.’
Irion’s car has been searched and forensically analyzed, police said.
‘Evidence has been recovered and is being expedited for testing through the Washoe County Forensic Investigation Section,’ police said.
During a news conference Thursday, Lyon County Sheriff Frank Hunewill pleaded with the public to provide tips to help find Irion.
“We are making a plea to the public right now to help us locate our person of interest vehicle,” Hunewill said of the man police had earlier described as a suspect.
Investigators don’t have a license plate for the pickup they’re looking for, Hunewill said.
He added that investigators are trying to talk to witnesses, noting that the man whom police are seeking was seen arriving at the Walmart from an area where homeless people congregate.
“We don’t know if this guy is homeless or not because we don’t know who he is yet,” Hunewill said. “We don’t know where his truck’s at.”
Police said Friday a community search planned for Saturday was not organized by the sheriff’s office, but that some officers with the agency’s Search and Rescue Team will participate and process any evidence found.
Hunewill was joined Thursday at the media briefing by Irion’s relatives, including Valley and sibling Tamara Cartwright.
Cartwright, who became emotional at times, said Irion was active on social media and the public should scour Instagram and Snapchat for her or the pickup.
“She loves people so much. And that’s why she’s so trusting,” Cartwright said. “I’m so afraid that someone betrayed her trust.”
Irion worked at Panasonic and would take a bus to her job after parking at the Walmart, KRNV reported.
Valley, who lives with his sibling, said he wants the person of interest to know- ‘We just want Naomi back — period,’ he said. ‘We just want Naomi, and we’re not going to stop until we find her.’
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