By Kelsey Givens
One man is in custody after allegedly admitting to Nye County Sheriff’s deputies that he killed his neighbor after the man reportedly chased him around his trailer with a knife.
Peter J. Helfrich, 37, was arrested Thursday morning around 11:04 a.m. on charges of involuntary manslaughter and destroying/concealing evidence after police were dispatched to a trailer located at the Waterhole RV Park on Fifth and East streets.
According to a declaration of arrest in the case, officers were called to the location around 7:50 a.m. for a report of a suicide threat, at which time they made contact with Helfrich.
Helfrich was reportedly crying when deputies found him and told police he “didn’t want to live because he had done a terrible thing.”
Upon further investigation, Helfrich told the officers he and his neighbor, whose name has not yet been released to the public pending notification of next of kin, began drinking the day before around 10 a.m.
After several hours of consuming alcohol, Helfrich said the neighbor then proceeded to tell him there was a “hit” out on Helfrich’s life, and that he planned to kill him for money.
The neighbor then allegedly picked up his hunting knife and began chasing Helfrich around his trailer with it, as Helfrich said he tried twice to subdue the man.
After failing to stop him, Helfrich said he picked up a metal baseball bat and hit his neighbor in the side of the head.
The man subsequently fell to the ground, at which time Helfrich said he and his girlfriend, Silvia Castillo, took the body about seven miles east of the trailer where the crime occurred to Basin Avenue and Wheeler Pass Road.
After telling officers what he had done, Helfrich took them to his trailer in the desert off Basin Avenue about two miles east of the county’s special training yard on Mesquite, where police were able to locate the murder weapon.
The victim’s body was later found by search and rescue teams near Basin Avenue and Wheeler Pass Road inside Clark County.
Helfrich was placed under arrest for his neighbor’s death and transported without incident to the Nye County Detention Center to be booked into custody.
Further investigation into the slaying continued well into the afternoon at two separate crime scenes involved in the case.
Capt. Bill Becht said the scenes were the trailer where the alleged murder happened as well as the area where the body had been dumped.
According to Becht, Helfrich took the body over the county line into Clark County and agencies there were contacted to help with the investigation.
“As far as my detective has told me, the suspect called and said I got in a fight with this guy, things got out of control and I ended it,” he said. “The body was disposed of in Clark County so they have been called in for the investigation as far as the body. Search and rescue was called out in response to a report from the suspect, who said he dumped the body somewhere up near Wheeler Road and search and rescue located the body.”
The investigation into the man’s death remains ongoing.
This is not the first time Helfrich has reportedly come into contact with NCSO.
He was convicted previously of a charge of domestic battery, which he is currently trying to have overturned by the Nevada Supreme Court.
Helfrich has also been very vocal about the injustices he feels those in the local criminal justice system perpetuate against Pahrump citizens, even taking to his blog to write about his experiences and post documents from local court cases.
He has even gone as far as to try to vilify a specific NCSO detective and public defender by creating images of the two on his blog holding pistols to their heads.
In October, Helfrich and several others filed a massive class action lawsuit against the Nevada State Bar, Nevada Attorney General, Nye County District Attorney Brian Kunzi and deputy DAs, Nye County Public Defender’s Office, former Justice of the Peace Tina Brisebill, Justice of the Peace Kent Jasperson, District Judge Kimberly Wanker, District Judge Robert Lane and Sheriff Tony DeMeo over what they claim is mistreatment by their court-appointed attorneys.
As of Thursday afternoon, Helfrich remained in custody at the local detention center and had not yet had his first appearance in Pahrump Justice Court on the charges. Helfrich’s bail amount was not available by press time.