Officials: Man arrested in Nevada kidnapping of 18-year-old

Naomi Irion
Posted at 4:14 PM, Mar 26, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-26 16:14:35-04

RENO, Nev. (AP) — Officers in northern Nevada took a suspect into custody Friday in the kidnapping of an 18-year-old woman who went missing two weeks ago about 30 miles (48 kilometers) east of Reno, authorities said.

Lyon County deputies assisted by the FBI and others are still searching for Naomi Irion, the sheriff’s office said. She was last seen March 12 after a man got into her vehicle outside a Walmart store in rural Fernley.

Before Friday, the sheriff’s office had said only that Irion’s disappearance was “suspicious in nature.” But Melissa Thomson, the sheriff’s dispatch shift supervisor, told The Associated Press Friday night they now are investigating it as a kidnapping.

“The FBI has changed their flyers to refer to it as a kidnapping,” she said. She didn’t provide any additional details and didn’t know when any more information would be released.

Deputies and assisting agencies “have taken a suspect into custody ... and impounded a pickup truck that was possibly involved,” the sheriff’s office said in a statement.

The sheriff’s office didn’t provide any more details but said it will “have additional information available as soon as possible.”

Irion had not been seen since a man wearing a mask and a dark hooded sweatshirt got into her car outside the store on March 12, family members said at a news conference last week.

Naomi Irion’s older brother, Casey Valley, told reporters at the time that store surveillance video showed a man approached the driver’s side of his sister’s car before dawn, and that the video appeared to show that he said or did something to make her move over before he got in and drove away.

Lyon County Sheriff Frank Hunewill said last week her car was found a short distance away and that evidence suggested a suspect may be driving a dark pickup truck.

The sheriff’s office said Thursday it had identified witnesses who were parked in the Walmart lot about the time Irion went missing.