Naomi Irion: Chilling new video released of hooded suspect in Walmart lot where teen vanished

18-year-old Naomi Irion disappeared on 12 March from a WalMart parking lot in Fernley, Nevada

<p>Naomi Irion seen in WalMart in Fernley, Nevada </p>

Naomi Irion seen in WalMart in Fernley, Nevada

Nevada authorities and members of Naomi Irion’s family - most of them crying - pleaded on Tuesday for anyone to come forward with information about the 18-year-old, who vanished from a Walmart parking lot more than a week ago.

“Because the incident happened so close to I-80, she could be anywhere - anywhere in the nation,” Ms Irion’s mother, Diana - who flew from her home in South Africa after her daughter’s 12 March disappearance - said Tuesday.

Ms Irion was last seen speaking with a man in the Walmart parking lot in Fernley, Nevada - about 34 miles east of Reno - as she prepared to get a shuttle to her job in nearby Panasonic.

The Lyon County Sheriff’s Department had earlier released surveillance footage showing a hooded figure pacing back and forth, at times walking directly in front of vehicles and their headlights, in the parking lot before he interacted with Ms Irion.

Authorities had initially said the suspect came from the direction of a homeless encampment but on Tuesday clarified they were not necessarily looking for a homeless individual - and the suspect is believed to have had access to an expensive pickup. Anyone with information about a dark-coloured 2020 or newer Chevrolet four-door is urged to come forward with information.

Ms Irion, who moved to the western Nevada city last year with her older brother, failed to show at work on 12 March and also the following day. When she didn’t return home, her brother got worried and called local jails and hospitals.

The teen’s father, who lives and works in South Africa, has access to her bank accounts and confirmed that Ms Irion’s last purchase had been near Walmart on Saturday morning; her brother, Casey Valley, headed over to Walmart to see if they could find any clues.

“We tracked security down at Walmart, and they were very helpful - and I’m very thankful to them for letting us barge in on them and showing us that footage,” Mr Valley said last week at a press conference.

The footage showed his little sister having an alarming interaction with a hooded man in the parking lot.

“This person did say or do something to Naomi to make her move over from the driver side to the passenger side,” he said, noting it was then “that I reported it as a kidnapping.”

Ms Irion’s car was later recovered in a nearby industrial park and contained evidence that her disappearance was suspicious, authorities said.

Authorities have appealed for information as hundreds gathered to search the region. A vigil is planned for 7pm Tuesday and attendees are asked to wear rainbow colours, which the 18-year-old loves; her family had rainbow ribbons pinned to their clothes at the Tuesday press conference.

Ms Irion’s sister, Tamara Cartwright, travelled from Texas following her sister’s disappearance and begged anyone who witnessed anything either in person or on social media to come forward.

“This is life or death for my sister,” she said Tuesday. “Life or death.”

Naomi, she said last week, is “ such a kind person ...I’m so afraid that someone betrayed the trust” she places in people.

“Yesterday I came from South Africa,” the teen’s father added last week. “I went to her bedroom and started looking at her stuff - shoes and makeup, everything she has, dirty laundry - and started crying.

“She’s my daughter, but she’s also your daughter, your sister. She needs help, and we need to find her.”

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

By clicking ‘Create my account’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in