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After authorities recovered the remains of Naomi Irion near a gravesite in Nevada on Wednesday following her March 12 abduction from a Walmart parking lot, her brother is speaking out about the lackluster response of officials and is calling for better funding for police.
Although the 18-year-old’s suspected murderer, Troy Driver, was arrested and charged with first-degree kidnapping on March 25 with bail set at $750,000, her brother Casey Valley thinks that had the police had the proper resources, they may have found his little sister alive.
“If a be-on-the-lookout [BOLO] alert had been sent out on [March 13], and if a missing persons report had been filed, like the Lyon County Sheriff’s Office is procedurally obligated to do, then it wouldn’t have taken so long to … get started on this case,” Valley told Fox News Digital. “I don’t know what the time of death for my sister is, but there’s a chance that law enforcement could have found her alive.”
Daughter of diplomat dad went on a date before alleged abduction, was finally exploring life as ‘free American’ https://t.co/8PVSJjBkGS
— Conservative News (@BIZPACReview) March 24, 2022
Valley first called in a missing person report on March 13 at about 9:30 p.m. after his sister did not return to the home they shared the night before. He received a return call a couple of hours later, but the missing person report was not filed until the next day around 9 p.m., nearly 24 hours later.
Irion’s car was later discovered on March 15 not far from the Walmart where she was last seen.
The next day, Valley filed a complaint with the agency handling the case.
“I don’t have anything against Lyon County. I’m so thankful for them answering my texts at 3 o’clock in the morning and calling me when there’s an important update and bringing me into the command center of the searches and everything that they did to make our family be assured how hard they were working — and they are still working. And I don’t want any ‘defund the police’ talk to be attached to this. This is about the police needing more resources. Period,” he said.
Valley noted that he received an apology from “a lot of” deputies and that his complaint was “well-received.”
Irion had lived with Valley since August 2021 after moving from South Africa where her father worked with the State Department. She had enrolled in community college, worked at a Panasonic factory and was reportedly eager to experience American life. To get to work, she parked her car in the Walmart parking lot and caught a shuttle to the factory.
“I knew that something was wrong, and I knew that Naomi was missing. I knew something wasn’t right. I knew it didn’t fit her character. I knew something bad had happened — I just didn’t know what yet — until I went myself … to the Walmart and worked with the security people to try to verify whether or not she got there, and then when she did, to try to figure out why she left,” Valley explained.
#NaomiIrion Authorities Still Hope to Find Missing Nevada Teen Naomi Irion Alive
Naomi was last seen March 12, when authorities say she was abducted by a man in a gray hoodie! #BringNaomiHome pic.twitter.com/3NncGNCvjt
— 🖤🤍L€G🅰️C¥🤍🖤 (@iamlegacy22pb) March 23, 2022
Working with Walmart, Valley said he got the surveillance camera footage of the store’s parking lot.
“My blood ran cold,” Valley recalled. “My heart leaped out of my chest. It was sickening.”
Irion’s relatives are using the hashtag #TrustTheFamily to bring attention to missing person cases where he believes the family’s instincts are often proven right.
“In the last two weeks, I’ve come across a lot of people who have had missing persons cases in their families. The common theme that I hear from these other concerned families is that the greatest examples are often treated with the same level of concern with police officers as benign examples in the beginning, which is relatively understandable given the limited resources that police departments and sheriff’s offices have available,” Valley noted.
“However, every police department in this country has procedures they need to follow. In fact … they’re sworn to follow these procedures. In the case of my sister … the first 36 hours after I called it in as a missing person … this case was not handled in a way that was not considered procedurally complaint,” he added.
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