Troy Driver is the Nevada construction manager accused of kidnapping Naomi Irion, an 18-year-old woman who disappeared from a Fernley parking lot.
The Lyon County Sheriff’s Office announced in a March 25, 2022 news release that it had arrested 41-year-old Driver of Fallon, Nevada.
He is charged with kidnapping. “We located the truck in question and it was impounded and used as evidence,” sheriff’s officers said in a release.
Irion, a Panasonic employee, disappeared on March 12, 2022, and police believe she was abducted from her car in a Walmart parking lot on Newlands Drive.
VINE Link gives suspect’s name as Troy Edward Driver and date of birth in April; Online records show he has a California-issued social security number. Troy Edward Driver, born April 20, 1980, was convicted at the age of 17 in Ukiah, California, according to old newspaper articles, for involvement in the murder of a well-known drug dealer named Paul Rodriguez.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Irion is still missing; Troy Edward Driver has a violent criminal history in California
Despite the suspect’s arrest, sheriff’s officers say they haven’t found Irion.
“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 press release said.
The old newspaper articles, which can be accessed at Newspapers.com, state that the victim in Ukiah, California, was a “respectable Willits drug dealer” named Paul Rodriguez. According to a 1998 article in the Ukiah Daily Journal, he was shot dead by his 18-year-old girlfriend in the driveway of the Driver family home. Troy Edward Driver and another teenager “stuffed Rodrigeuz’s body in the trunk of his car and threw it off a freeway. The article states that Driver’s sister, Sharla Renee Driver Cassidy, also referred to as Sharla Driver, was also convicted in connection with the murder.
His sister was accused of overhearing “the trio plotting to kill Rodriguez” and drove the car he was lured into his death in. She also admitted driving a getaway car in a series of grocery store robberies that Troy Driver said he committed to trying to get money to pay for his sister’s flight to Italy, the newspaper article reports.
A 1997 article in the Ukiah Daily Journal states that Rodriguez was a methamphetamine dealer and that Troy Edward Driver also pled guilty to three counts of second-degree robbery at a Ukiah Circle K supermarket and a Chevron gas station, and burglary. at a Willits Coast-to-Coast hardware store. He admitted using a firearm and should be sentenced to 15 years in prison for those crimes and his involvement in the death of Rodriguez.
Mendocino County court records show he was sentenced to 15 years in prison for three counts of robbery involving a firearms charge and a burglary charge.
2. Officials previously released surveillance video of the suspect
On March 16, 2022, sheriff’s officers released surveillance footage of the suspect.
“Here are photos of Naomi the morning she was last seen and what she was wearing at the time. The last two photos are from the suspect’s CCTV,” they wrote.
“We are aware that the suspect’s photo is not up to much at this time and we are working diligently to get better photos of the suspect. Thank you everyone for your continued support.”
The sheriff’s department debunked social media posts that Irion was found in an abandoned home in Reno, Nevada, and said they were false.
Authorities wrote in a timeline that Irion was parked at the Fernley Walmart at 5:09 am. She was active on social media until 5:23 a.m. Her last Snapchat ping was at 5:23 am. At 5:24 a.m., the suspect was seen at the Irion vehicle. At 5:25 a.m., their vehicle left Walmart. Her vehicle was recovered on March 15, 2022. She was waiting at the Walmart store for a shuttle to her job at Panasonic.
3. The driver worked in construction
A LinkedIn page reveals that Driver has worked in construction and for a mining company as a safety coordinator and project manager. He has also lived in Elko, Nevada.
NyNews4 reported that the driver was taken into custody at a home on Alcorn Road in Fernley, Nevada and officers impounded his truck.
Video showed the truck being carted away from the house.
4. A break in the case came when authorities shared photos of a suspect vehicle
A lull in the case came when authorities shared photos of a suspect vehicle.
On March 24, sheriff’s officers wrote that they identified the vehicle and occupants appearing in a Walmart video minutes before Naomi was abducted.
Officials said the vehicle was parked in the lot around 5:15 a.m., then driven around the median and parked with the lights off. The suspect “is seen directly in front of this parked vehicle.”
5. Naomi’s mother says there was “suspicious activity or violence” in her car
Naomi’s mom, Diane Irion, spoke to the “All American Dream Chaser” on YouTube.
“She is such an amazing person. She is very strong, she is very intelligent. She is kind and compassionate. She is generous and gives. She is one of the most amazing young women. She’s lived all over the world,” the mother said.
Diane Irion said there was evidence of “suspicious activity or violence in the car.” She added: “Hopefully law enforcement can find something that makes this person, this monster, different from other people. What kind of person does that? Takes an 18 year old girl. Someone’s daughter, sister, from her family hurt her. What kind of monster does that? It’s evil. It is wrong.”
Houston-born Irion graduated from the American International School in Johannesburg, South Africa, where her parents live, according to her mother’s interview. The mother said Naomi’s father works for the US State Department at the US Embassy in Pretoria, where the parents live.
CONTINUE READING: The disappearance of Naomi Irion.
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