Dead Body Went Undiscovered at Harry Reid Airport Parking Garage for Weeks, Questions of Security Arise

Posted on: March 14, 2023, 10:29h. 

Last updated on: March 15, 2023, 02:20h.

A woman’s decomposing corpse was undetected for more than three weeks in a parking garage at Harry Reid International Airport, according to a news report.

A view of Harry Reid International Airport
A view of Harry Reid International Airport, pictured above. After three weeks, a woman’s lifeless body was found in an airport parking garage. (Image: Getty Images)

Las Vegas TV station KLAS reported on Monday the deceased, unnamed female was found in November in a car left in the airport’s Terminal 1 short-term parking area. Police found the woman after an employee noticed a strong odor and alerted Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department (LVMPD) officers.

The odor around the vehicle — it’s pretty, pretty horrific,” a police officer said when coming to check the car, according to KLAS.

A subsequent investigation revealed the lifeless body had been in the car for 23 days. Authorities determined she died by suicide, the report added. The woman arrived at the garage on October 8. Her body was found on November 1.

The location of the car was in a well-traveled area close to the passenger pickup site. Short-term parking at Terminal 1 is limited to those who need a place to leave a vehicle for three hours or less. The airport doesn’t tow vehicles from short-term parking until a car has been left for a month or more.

Reports show the car had tinted windows, making it difficult for a passer-by to notice anything unusual about the car.

Questionable Garage Security

The revelation has led some to question the security and surveillance of parking garages. Although parking lots have security measures in place, such as surveillance cameras and license plate readers, these devices sometimes fail to pick up relevant information to prevent crime.

KLAS also spoke to a former airport employee, who revealed said more staff should be hired to inspect the property.

To me, it seems like there’s no safety in that garage at all,” the unnamed former employee told KLAS.

KLAS also reported that dozens of vehicles were stolen from parking garages at the airport over the past two years.

Last year, Harry Reid spokesman Joe Rajchel told KLAS, “There’s a lot of different components in place to check on the vehicles. We have people who go through at night — check the license plates that are here, to again keep that information, and see what vehicles we have on property.”

In 2019, $9 million was approved to add advanced cameras at the airport.

Remote Employee Parking

There are also recent concerns from flight attendants and other employees who now park at a remote parking lot on Kitty Hawk Way, according to the Las Vegas Sun newspaper. Many feel they’re at risk to become victims of crime.

Jenann Logan, a flight attendant for Southwest Airlines who unsuccessfully ran for the Nevada State Assembly District 8 seat as a Republican in 2022, wants to see improved lighting, emergency boxes, and security in the new lot, the Sun reported based on her Instagram post.

“As a flight attendant, I do not feel safe going to work right now,” Logan said at a recent Clark County Commission meeting, according to the Sun.

The lot that they moved us to, the buses are inconsistent, the homeless population is rampant … They have put up some lights (but) the lights do not come on at dark,” Logan said.

The new employee lot has surveillance cameras, security patrols, and shuttle buses operated by drivers who have radios, Rajchel said. The employees used to park in an area at Terminal 1.

The airport recently set a record for the number of passengers using the facility. Harry Reid International Airport saw 52.7 million passengers in 2022. That’s more than 2% over the prior record seen in 2019, the Northern Nevada Business Weekly reported.