Man arrested for killing, putting woman’s remains in 55-gallon drum goes before judge

Local News

LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — What started as a missing person’s case, has turned into a gruesome murder. On Wednesday, Metro Police identified 38-year-old Chuck Chaiyakul as the man arrested in the disappearance, and now homicide of 39-year-old Jennifer Ratay.

The case first came to light Tuesday morning when someone called Metro Police to report that Ratay was missing. Fast-forward to that evening when Chaiyakul is arrested, and a 55-gallon container filled with human remains is found in his garage.

Garden Grove Homicide

The home is located in the 5700 block of Garden Grove Avenue near Rainbow and Flamingo. The Clark County Coroner identified the remains as Jennifer Ratay. She died from multiple gunshot wounds in a homicidal manner, the coroner said.

8 News NOW spoke with one of her friends who said Ratay was friends with Chaiyakul, but the friend wasn’t sure how they met. Ratay leaves behind a 15-year-old daughter.

39-year-old homicide victim Jennifer Ratay

Chaiyakul, who’s charged with murder and possession of a firearm by a prohibited person, appeared before a judge Wednesday. He remains in jail without bail. During the hearing, the District Attorney’s office revealed new information about the case, saying Chaiyakul confessed to Ratay’s murder.

“The defendant confessed to shooting and killing the victim and placed the body inside a 55-gallon drum,” the prosecutor said. “Upon initial inspection [it] appeared to have human remains as well as bullet projectiles inside the drum.”

It was a friend of Jennifer Ratay who reported her missing, police said. According to the friend, Chaiyakul was supposed to give her a ride Thursday, but he received a call, and while he was on the phone, he heard an argument as well as a possible struggle. The phone was then disconnected. 

Some people are still in shock after learning about their neighbor’s arrest. 

“That’s crazy; that’s nuts,” said Richard Tischer, a neighbor.

Chaiyakul lived in the Garden Grove home for five years with his mom and two brothers. However, no one answered when 8 News NOW knocked on the door Wednesday. 

While in court, the judge asked Chaiyakul about his past, and he said he was unemployed. According to Chaiyakul, the last time he had a job was in March. 

Judge Ann Zimmerman: “So when you are working; what do you do?”
Chaiyakul: “I’m either a butcher at a restaurant; selling jewelry, making jewelry.”

Court records show Chaiyakul has a criminal history dating back to 2005 in Clark County. He’s scheduled to be back in court Friday morning.

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