Who is Naomi Irion? Missing 18-year-old abducted from Walmart parking lot

Suspect in Naomi Irion’s kidnapping seen on video

Video footage from the Lyon County Sheriff’s Office in Nevada shows a suspect in missing Naomi Irion’s abduction walking through a Walmart parking lot, where she was last seen.

Naomi Irion, an 18-year-old Nevada woman who has lived all over the world, has been missing since March 12. 

Irion was last seen in a Walmart parking lot in Fernley, Nevada, after 5 a.m. on March 12. It was where she typically parked her car and took an employee bus to her job manufacturing batteries at a Panasonic factory. The FBI said she was “abducted” from the parking lot “by a nondescript male.”

About two weeks after she went missing, the Lyon County Sheriff’s Office arrested and charged Troy Driver, 41, with first-degree kidnapping. As of Wednesday morning, Driver had not shared any information leading to Irion’s whereabouts.

Naomi Irion (Lyon County Sheriff)

Security camera footage released by the Lyon County Sheriff’s Office showed a male suspect in her kidnapping, though it is unclear if Driver is the same person. The man is wearing jeans and a gray, hooded sweatshirt, walking from a nearby homeless camp into the Walmart parking lot. Authorities said the suspect got into the driver’s seat of Irion’s vehicle and left in an “unknown direction with Naomi in the passenger seat.”

Deputies located Irion’s vehicle, a four-door sedan, in Fernley on March 15, two days after she was reported missing. Evidence authorities found in her abandoned vehicle suggested that her disappearance was criminal in nature.

Naomi Irion kidnapping suspect Troy Driver
(Lyon County Sheriff’s Office)

The teenager’s family described her as “an extrovert” who “loves to meet people and make friends.” She is “independent” and was saving money to buy her own home. She had a love for music, games and drawing.

Irion moved from South Africa to Nevada, where she was living with her brother, Casey Valley, in August 2021. 

Naomi’s father, Herve Irion, and mother are in South Africa but traveled to Nevada this week to assist with the search for their daughter. Herve Irion works for the U.S. State Department in the foreign service. The Irions have lived in a number of foreign countries, including Germany and Russia.

Naomi Irion (Lyon County Sheriff)

Valley described his sister as a typical teenager – one who went on dates, make sassy remarks every so often and had big dreams for her future in the United States. Valley said he was the relative best suited to let Irion stay in the U.S. with him and his fiancée, with whom Irion was close.

“She was very interested in the American way of life,” Valley previously told Fox News Digital. “She really wanted that independence and freedom and everything that America has to offer.”

“I think she experienced in other countries what it’s like to not be free and for the citizens of other countries to not be free,” Diana Irion, Naomi’s mother, said. “The freedom that young people have to get a driver’s license and get a job and go on dates and drive cross-country if you want to when you want to … just doesn’t exist anywhere else.”

Noami Irion (Irion family)

“She was so excited to experience all of those things,” the mother of seven, including three adopted sons from Ukraine, continued.

The Lyon Sheriff’s office is asking anyone with information about Irion’s whereabouts to call 775-463-6620 or email [email protected]

The Irion family is accepting donations that will go toward the search for Naomi through a GoFundMe page and Findingkids.org, a nonprofit helping people for private investigations. Her family is asking the public to mention Naomi Irion in their donations.

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