LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — No elected leader responded to requests for comment about the 8 News Now Investigators’ report Monday, which revealed a woman’s body went undiscovered in a car in short-term parking at Harry Reid International Airport for nearly a month.
The car sat undisturbed — just yards away from passenger pickup — for 23 days – from Oct. 8 to Nov. 1, 2022. It was not until a parking employee noticed the smell that he called Las Vegas Metro police.
As of Wednesday afternoon, no Clark County commissioner had provided a statement on the investigation nor agreed to be interviewed. Republican Gov. Joe Lombardo’s office did not return repeated requests for comment
Lombardo was Clark County sheriff, the head of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, for 8 years before he became governor in January. While airport parking employees patrol garages and facilitate parking services, Metro operates a bureau at the airport.
While not in her jurisdiction, Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman, also did not respond.
Monday’s investigation came on the heels of an 8 News Now Investigators’ report finding thieves have stolen dozens of cars parked at the airport garages over two years. The investigation also found surveillance and security systems do not always work.
While there are cameras and license plate readers throughout the garages, the 8 News Now Investigators found they do not capture every vehicle. The 8 News Now Investigators paged through dozens of stolen vehicle reports, finding surveillance and other security measures in place are not catching nor preventing all thefts.
A whistleblower interviewed for Monday’s story said staffing storages and automation have led to what they perceived as gaps in security. While some theft reports the 8 News Now Investigators obtained indicate daily car inventories as recent as December 2022, it remained unclear why the woman’s car went unnoticed for 23 days.
“You are correct that vehicles utilizing parking options at Harry Reid International Airport are regularly inventoried,” a spokesperson said in an email exchange in the weeks ahead of Monday’s story. “Our policy is that vehicles are allowed to be continuously parked for 30 days in our garages and lots, unless there is prior notification that they need to remain in the lot longer. The vehicle you referenced was parked for 23 days.”
Commissioners approved a $9 million surveillance upgrade project in 2019. There are no specifics, including how many cameras were installed, what their maintenance costs are, or if they are working in any available documentation.
Even with the improvements, several employees, speaking anonymously with the 8 News Now Investigators, said the cameras are unreliable and sometimes offline.
The TSA was the only entity to respond to 8 News Now’s request for comment. A spokesperson said the agency “maintains a strong partnership with the airport, its stakeholders and airport law enforcement.”
“We will provide assistance as requested and needed to support any investigation into this matter,” the spokesperson said regarding 8 News Now’s investigation into the body in the garage.
As the 8 News Now Investigators reported Monday, the 65-year-old woman is believed to have died by suicide in her vehicle. If you need to talk to someone, you can call the Suicide and Crisis Lifeline at 988.