By Kelsey Givens
Police arrested two people on second degree murder charges and another two on accessory to murder charges Monday after a tip led police to discover that the group played a part in dumping the body of man whose remains were discovered in the desert in August.
Ron Hoover, 56; Jo Hoover, 56; William McDermott, 46, and Maryanne Huffman, 43, were all arrested based on new information related to the discovery of the body of David Pucci, whose remains were found in a desert area near Beatty Avenue and Bannavitch Street on Aug. 31. He was allegedly dumped there after he died of a possible drug overdose in the Hoovers’ home.
Police said they received a tip on Oct. 4 that on or about Aug. 25, two people had dumped a body out in the desert after finding the man dead at a home located at 3700 Dyer Road.
The informant told police that Pucci had gone to the home, which belongs to the Hoovers, to get high the night before.
After he had gotten high, Pucci reportedly began acting strangely, and at some point someone in the home poured chocolate syrup over Pucci’s face and upper torso, thinking it was funny he was acting so odd.
After a while, the Hoovers allegedly began to believe Pucci was having an adverse reaction to the heroin they had given him, and left him alone for the night.
The next morning, when the suspects found Pucci dead, they allegedly decided to load his body up and take it out to the desert to dump it, instead of calling police.
According to a press release issued by the Nye County Sheriff’s Office on Tuesday, Pucci’s body was put into a trash can with wheels and dragged out of the home, before it was put into the back of McDermott’s vehicle. Pucci’s body was then driven out to the desert area several miles from his home where he was later found.
Police said when the suspects returned home, however, they discovered Pucci’s wallet and a shoe had been left behind.
The suspects then collected the items and allegedly drove them back out to the site to leave with the man’s body.
After learning all of this, police obtained a search warrant for the home on Dyer Road and served it Monday around 8:40 p.m.
Jo was reportedly the only person in the residence at the time, and she was promptly placed under arrest for various drug related charges as well as a charge of murder in the second degree after police had finished their search.
Inside the home, officers allegedly found numerous drug paraphernalia items as well as heroin.
McDermott and Ron were later found at a residence located at 280 Lexis Lane.
Ron was placed under arrest for second-degree murder.
McDermott was also taken into custody at that time after a search for Ron, who was allegedly trying to hide from deputies on the property, led them to an outdoor marijuana grow operation in plain view.
McDermott’s girlfriend, Huffman, was also later arrested for knowing that her boyfriend had placed Pucci’s body out in the desert and then lying about it when confronted by police. She allegedly told police she had lied initially because she didn’t want to get McDermott in trouble.
All four were subsequently transported to the Nye County Detention Center to be booked.
Ron and Jo were each charged with use of residence for place to sell/use controlled substance, possession of heroin with intent to sell, possession of schedule 1 heroin, possession of drug paraphernalia, possession of marijuana, conspiracy to violate the Uniform Controlled Substance Act, destroy or conceal evidence and murder second degree.
Jo received an additional charge of being under the influence of a controlled substance.
Their bail was set at $150,000 each.
McDermott was booked on charges of use of residence for place to sell/use controlled substance, possession of marijuana, possession of marijuana with intent to sell, destroy or conceal evidence and accessory after the fact. His bail was set at $30,000.
Huffman received a single charge of being an accessory after the fact.