THIS BLOG IS IN CHRONOLOGICAL ORDER – UPDATES ARE AT THE BOTTOM OF THE POST.
Naomi Irion (18) has been missing from Lyon County, Nevada since March 12, 2022.
You can view Naomi’s Instagram here:
As some background into Naomi, she was born and raised in the Houston, Texas area.
Naomi’s parents are Diane and Herve Irion. She has two older siblings – Tamara Cartwrith and a brother Casey Valley who is 32. She also has three young adopted brothers who are from Irpin, Ukraine, near Kyiv. I have read she has six siblings so there might be another one who has not been made public.
The family had been living in South Africa because Herve works for the U.S. Department of State in the U.S. Embassy in Pretoria.
Naomi Irion recently graduated from the American International School Johannesburg in South Africa. Following her graduation, she decided to move to Nevada to live with her brother for a ‘gap year’ – a year off before starting university.
Naomi had only been in the Fernley, Nevada area since August 2021. She got a job at Panasonic and her mother has said she was “tapped for leadership positions.”
Naomi only obtained her driver’s license after moving to Nevada as she had been unable to do so while living overseas as she was not a citizen. “She was so excited to get her license and have a car and do all the things that all the American kids get to do, she’s never gotten to do,” her mother said.
Naomi’s normal routine was to drive to the Fernley Wal-Mart and park her car there. She would then get a shuttle to her workplace, Panasonic.
On Saturday March 12, 2022, she did exactly that. She stopped to buy an energy drink (this is the last time her bank accounts have been used and images of her purchasing the drink have been released). She then pulled into the Walmart parking lot at around 5am.
So it seems like Naomi pulled in and was sitting in her car, waiting for the shuttle. I believe the shuttle usually arrived between 5.30-5.40am from what I have read online.
Her brother Casey has said “ [She]always parked in the same spot and she always got there early so she could you know do social media stuff before she went to work and catch up with her friends that are in different time zones.”
Thankfully there is CCTV footage of the parking lot.
The footage “shows a person walking from a nearby homeless camp and lurking around vehicles, before getting into the driver’s seat of [Naomi’s] car, and then driving away with Naomi in the passenger seat.”
This is kinda weird as Naomi had been sitting in the driver’s seat. Her sister Tamara has said “Someone came up to her while she was in the driver seat – said or did something that made her move to the passenger seat and they drove away.”
Her brother has said “She is not a fighter, meaning the guy who pushed her into a car, she froze. She didn’t do anything. She just froze,” her brother said, with detectives and the sheriff by his side. “As we can clarify really quick, and, detective, correct me if I’m wrong. We’re not saying that this person was necessarily a homeless person. He came from that direction. Like, but so, but it’s enough of something that just, state that it’s worth noting. This person did say or do something to Naomi to make her move over from the driver’s side to the passenger side.”
“To me it looked clear, to me it looked like a clear abduction,” said her brother, Casey Valley.
He also said online “I just want everyone to know that I’m doing everything I can. Please feel free to reach out with any information, I am working directly with Lyon county detectives. My suspicions so far: This seems like a pre-meditated act. I don’t want to say much more because I need to keep the investigation on track.”
Her mother Diane has also theorized publicly about what likely happened:
“She was sitting in the driver’s seat of the car getting ready to get out, she probably had her door partially opened or unlocked, she was getting ready to get out of the car and go to the bus,” her mother said. “And an unknown male opened the driver’s door, said or did something to make her slide over to the passenger seat and then he got into the driver’s seat and took off with her.”
She added that police initially didn’t think it was an abduction, “because she just slid over in the seat and didn’t resist. But I spoke to several of her friends who had been chatting with her on Snapchat minutes before this happened and they said she had no plans to meet anyone. She was just going to work. My daughter is not very good in a crisis or an emergency. What she tends to do is freeze up and just comply. She’s not a fighter. She’s a lovely, sweet person and she doesn’t fight. She freezes up when she’s scared. That’s probably what happened. … That’s the last time anyone saw or heard from her.”
Due to edits, I am unsure as to when the news about Naomi being missing actually broke. I am assuming it was fairly quick as her brother would have noticed that day that she did not return home? It does sound like they didn’t report her missing until at least Sunday evening based on this quote though –
“They confirmed that she missed her shifts Saturday and Sunday, which was really unusual,” Diane said. “My daughter was extremely reliable.”
The Lyon County Sheriff in Nevada issued this plea:
Be on the lookout for a possible kidnapping victim and vehicle. The possible victim is Naomi Irion. She was last seen in the parking lot of Walmart in Fernley, NV inside of her vehicle on March 12 at approximately 0500 am.
NAME: IRION, NAOMI CHRISTINE
LP: 595T37 NV
“Some monster takes them, and you don’t know what’s happened, you don’t know where they are and nobody even noticed she was missing,” said her mother, Diana.
On Tuesday March 15, three days after she was last seen, Naomi’s vehicle was found abandoned near the Sherman Williams Western Emulsion Plant.
I looked up the distance between the Walmart and the location of the vehicle and it is 0.8miles away. Weird.
Police have not disclosed what was in the car but they apparently found evidence that suggests Naomi “vanished due to a crime”.
The Lyon County Sheriff’s Office said “The vehicle has since been retrieved, searched and forensically analyzed. Forensic evidence has been recovered and is being expedited for testing through the Washoe County Forensic Investigation Section.”
Police have said they found her car after pinging her phone. It led them to the industrial park.
More cell phone activity led investigators to the area of State Route 427 and Hill Ranch Road in few days after Naomi vanished. Detective Kusmerz said the phone activity went stagnant for about 10 minutes and that there has been no further cell phone activity. Her phone has not been found.
Police have said that there may be a connection between Naomi’s disappearance and a man driving a dark colored 2020 or newer Chevrolet, 2500, High Country 4 Door Pickup Truck. Investigators believe the driver of this truck knows Naomi’s whereabouts.
On March 17, Lyon County Sheriff’s Office posted this statement on their social media:
This location is around 5 miles from where Naomi’s vehicle was found.
On March 18, Naomi’s brother Casey spoke to abc and said “We can’t lose sight of what’s really important. “And that’s Naomi’s life and time’s ticking, we’re out of time.”
This update was posted by the Sheriff’s Office on March 18:
The next release from the Sheriff was the following day, March 19:
On March 22, the Lyon County Sheriff held a PC.
They said they were getting hundreds of tips per day and they also confirmed that they were still forensically processing Naomi’s vehicle.
Naomi’s parents have flown to the USA from South Africa and they were at the presser. Her mother said “please save my daughter. Bring her home.”
As of March 23, 2022, the FBI are now involved with Naomi’s case.
At the time she vanished, Naomi was wearing a blue Panasonic shirt, a gray cardigan, and gray, black or brown knock-off Ugg boots. She was also carrying a black purse. She is 5′11″ with dyed black hair, and green eyes. One eye also has brown in it. She also has a smiley face tattoo on one of her ankles and a septum piercing. She is known to carry a fidget spinner, her family said.
A search is planned for March 26, which will mark two weeks since Naomi disappeared.
Her brother Casey is working to organise the searches. He said he would like to focus any searches in the 10-square mile area north of I-80 and east of the reservation.
“If you can, form groups,” Casey said. “Reach out to other people. We need your help, we’re overwhelmed. Anybody that has search and rescue experience, get in contact. I would love to coordinate.”
Valley spoke about the outpouring of support from the community. “I never imagined a community could be like this,” he said. A Go Fund Me account has already raised more than $34,000.
When asked about how critical information from the community is, Sheriff Hunewill said, “Once we catch that big break, hopefully we can bring Naomi home.”
Naomi’s family have a twitter account which is dedicated to help find her:
On Friday March 25 (13 days after Naomi vanished), a man was arrested in connection with her disappearance.
Nevada man Troy Driver (41) was charged with kidnapping. There were lots of photos online of police going to his home in Fallon – there was even a SWAT tank involved.
Troy’s Chevrolet Silverado High Country truck was photographed being towed away from examination.
“We have located the truck in question and it has been impounded and taken into evidence,” sheriff’s officials said in a news release.
Media outlets have managed to dig up Troy Driver’s background. He was born April 20, 1980. When he was 17 and living in Ukiah, California, he was convicted following a string of robberies after admitting involvement in the murder of a drug dealer named Paul Rodriguez.
There is some archived info that comes from newspapers.com:
He (Paul Rodriguez) was shot to death in the driveway of the Driver family home by his 18 year old girlfriend, according to a 1998 article in the Ukiah Daily Journal. Troy Edward Driver and another teen “stuffed Rodrigeuz’s body into the trunk of his car and dumped it off a highway. The article says that Driver’s sister, Sharla Renee Driver Cassidy, also referred to as Sharla Driver, was also convicted in connection with the slaying.
A 1997 article in the Ukiah Daily Journal says that Rodriguez was a methamphetamine dealer, and that Troy Edward Driver also pleaded guilty to three charges of second-degree robbery of a Ukiah Circle K convenience store and Chevron service stations, as well as a break-in of a Willits Coast-to-Coast hardware store. He admitted using a firearm, and was to be sentenced to 15 years for those crimes and his involvement in Rodriguez’s death.
On Saturday March 26, police issued this statement about Naomi’s whereabouts.
“This is still a very active investigation and more information will be released as it becomes available. Naomi has still not been located, and we are continuing to search for her and information,” the Sheriff’s release says.
Troy Driver’s arraignment was held on March 30. Naomi’s entire family attended the court.
The zoom link for the arraignment was made public before the session started. Troy’s attorney was upset about this and said that the “court may have lost control”.
His attorney was also mad they were not notified that the media would be in attendance in court.
Troy’s bail was set at $750k and the prosecutor said that she did not object to that figure at the arraignment.
Naomi’s family declined to speak in court at that time.
The judge stipulated that if Troy can make bail, he will have to wear a GPS monitoring device and he would not be allowed to contact Naomi’s family. He would be banned from using drugs or alcohol and would not be allowed in Fernley, Nevada except to attend court.
His next court hearings are scheduled for April 5 and April 12.
On March 30, police announced they had found Naomi’s remains:
Clips used in the podcast episode for Naomi: