UPDATE: Coroner identifies woman whose remains were found in 55-gallon drum

Local News

LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — The Clark County Coroner’s Office identified 39-year-old Jennifer Ann Ratay as the woman whose remains were discovered in a 55-gallon drum Tuesday. The cause of death is multiple gunshot wounds, and the manner was ruled a homicide.

Earlier today, a judge said Chuck Chaiyakul, 38, confessed to police he shot and killed Ratay and told them where to find her. Authorities recovered projectiles in the drum. Chaiyakul was detained without bail.

Details about his personal life also surfaced. He worked as a butcher for a restaurant in March 2019 and lived in the house where the homicide occurred with his mother and two brothers.

Authorities released a statement about Ratay’s disappearance Wednesday afternoon. Metro says she had arranged a ride with a man, later identified as Chaiyakul, to meet up with the citizen who reported her missing.

The citizen told authorities the victim called en-route to his residence when he heard arguing and what sounded like a struggle. The phone reportedly disconnected, and the victim was not heard from again.

Chaiyakul is set to make a court appearance this afternoon and faces two charges, including murder and possession of a gun. The victim’s remains were found in a home on the 5700 block of Garden Grove, near S. Rainbow Blvd. and Spring Valley Parkway. 

Metro Police first received a report Tuesday at 9 a.m. about the disappearance of a woman who was last seen Thursday night into Friday morning.

The last person known to have been with the victim when she was alive lives in the home located in the 5700 block of Garden Grove Avenue. Detectives interviewed the suspect and details discovered led officers to place Chaiyakul under arrest.

Metro Police Homicide Lt. Ray Spencer said preliminary details of the investigation also directed them to obtain a search warrant to allow them to search the garage where the 55-gallon drum was discovered.

The Armor Unit was also called to the scene to use X-Ray equipment to visually look inside of the drum before opening it and confirmed there appeared to be remains in the drum.

During the news conference earlier Tuesday evening, Lt. Spencer said they believed the woman was in the drum. However, that has not been confirmed because due to hazmat concerns, police moved the container to the coroner’s office for further examination before opening it.

According to police, the woman is said to have been friends with the man arrested in connection to her disappearance.

No other details were released.

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