Irion family reacts to the discovery of Naomi’s body
RENO, Nev. (KOLO) - The last time we saw the Irion family they were sitting in Fernley Justice Court waiting to see the man accused of kidnapping their daughter and sister.
What we didn’t know is, brother Casey Valley had just received news from a detective from Lyon County Sheriff’s Office.
“They wanted to tell me, they needed to come to the house. They didn’t know it was her. We knew they had a body, and they wouldn’t come to me unless they thought it was.”
After the hearing, Valley went before the cameras and talked about what happened in court, never letting on what he knew.
Confirmation came a couple of hours later when a deputy and chaplain came to the family’s home.
“The deputy showed up and he had a Chaplin with him, that’s when I knew,” said Diana Irion, Naomi’s mother. “My husband said don’t beat around the bush, just tell us, and they told us and, Terri, it was the worst thing in my life,” she said.
The family says they were told a tip led law enforcement to Naomi’s body in a remote part of Churchill County. This is after Naomi’s abduction on March 12, 2022, from a Walmart parking lot as she waited for a shuttle to take her to work in the early morning hours.
The community of Fernley banded together with search parties every weekend, and streaming colored ribbons placed throughout town.
The family kept positive and persisted in their effort to make sure their sister and her abduction would not be forgotten.
Still, her sister admits, she had prepared herself in part for Wednesday’s news.
“Ever since she went missing, I have been preparing for this, I’ve been crying about this, imagining the worst,” says Tamara Cartwright, Naomi’s sister.
“I tried to stay positive,” says Diana. “But I read crime novels, I watch crime T.V. I know the statistics. I’m a mathematician, and statistics are my thing. I looked it up. I suspected we wouldn’t find her alive,” she says.
Phase two of this family’s ordeal is just beginning. Court dates, appearances, descriptions about what investigators say happened on March 12th and beyond. They say they will be there to support the prosecution of the defendant. Naomi’s mother says she wants the focus to be on her daughter, and not the man she says is behind Naomi’s murder.
“I refuse to say his name,“ says Diana. “I will say my daughter’s name, Naomi Christine Irion, 18 years old, let’s make Naomi famous, let’s not make an animal that murdered her famous,” she says.
“Naomi is at peace now,” says Casey. “But I know Naomi was a stubborn, independent, strong-willed woman, and she would want justice,” he says.
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