Suspect in Teen's Murder Found Dead in Cell

Troy Driver was awaiting trial in kidnapping, murder of Naomi Irion
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 7, 2023 6:15 PM CDT
Suspect in Teen's Murder Found Dead in Cell
This photo taken from store surveillance video and provided by the Lyon County Sheriff's Office, shows Naomi Irion of Fernley, Nev., making a purchase shortly before authorities say she disappeared before dawn on Saturday, March 12, 2022.   (Lyon County Sheriff's Office via AP, File)

The man suspected of killing Nevada teenager Naomi Irion last year will never go on trial for the crime. Authorities say Troy Driver, 43, was found unresponsive in his cell at the Lyon County Jail during a routine check Sunday evening, and preliminary details indicate that he killed himself by asphyxiation, reports NBC News. "Driver was housed in a maximum security jail cell and had no contact with other inmates," Sheriff Brad Pope said in a statement.

Driver was awaiting trial on charges including kidnapping, sexual assault, and murder in the Irion case, the Reno Gazette-Journal reports. The 18-year-old's body was found in a shallow grave on March 30 last year, more than two weeks after she was kidnapped from the parking lot of a Walmart in Fernley, around 35 miles east of Reno. Investigators say she was waiting for a shuttle to work when the suspect forced his way into her vehicle and kidnapped her. "I deeply regret that he took the easy way out before the trial but I have no doubt in my mind given what I have been privy to that he is the perpetrator," her brother, Casey Valley, said on Facebook, per 2News. "A lot of mixed feelings at the moment." (More Nevada stories.)

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