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Victim’s family speaks about fatal stabbing in Pahrump park

A family member of the woman who was stabbed to death at Petrack Park in Pahrump on June 19 says she was well acquainted with several homeless individuals who frequented there and often helped them with resources.

Mindi Smith identified her murdered cousin as Shann Prince, 54, of Pahrump.

Smith said Prince had no children and frequented the park on a more-or-less regular basis over the years.

Smith noted that her cousin was not homeless, contrary to initial reports from the Nye County Sheriff’s Office.

“She’s never been homeless in her life,” Smith said. “She lives on my grandma and grandpa’s property and she did go to the park and befriended all of the homeless people there. She was always buying them beer and giving them money, but most of all, she certainly wasn’t homeless.”

The suspect in Smith’s murder is a Pahrump man in his 20s, who was identified as Taylor Peck.

Peck was eventually located in the nearby desert area along Dahlia Street following Smith’s death.

Peck was taken into custody on a first-degree murder charge after a roughly four-hour manhunt involving numerous deputies, detectives and an aerial drone, according to the sheriff’s office.

Smith says her cousin’s fatal stabbing took place near the entrance of the Bob Ruud Community Center in the parking lot area just adjacent to the public restrooms.

She spoke about the final time she spoke to her cousin, which she says was shortly before her murder. She referred to Prince as if she were a best friend and sister.

“While I was going to California for my aunt’s funeral, she texted me and asked what movie we were watching the day before,” Smith recalled. “I told her that it was ‘Dead Fall.’ She texted me about two hours before she was stabbed to death.”

Smith said that Nye County District Attorney Brian Kunzi has not provided the family with any additional details about the tragic killing.

“He told me that the sheriff’s department isn’t going to tell me anything because it’s still an open investigation, ” she said. “The DA has told me the suspect’s court date, and I know that it was all caught on video surveillance. I’ve been to the place where it happened to see where the cameras are.

Additionally, Smith spoke about how she was notified about her cousin’s death.

“The sheriff’s department came to my grandparents’ house and they informed my 93- and 95-year-old grandpa and grandma of what had happened,” she recalled. “My grandparents called me while I was in California and said to hurry home because Shann had been killed while we were at my aunt’s memorial service.”

The Nye County Sheriff’s Office has not determined a possible motive behind the murder.

However, Smith offered up her own personal conclusion, which involved an e-bike belonging to her cousin.

“It was literally Shann telling him (Peck) to get away from her bike and don’t try to steal it. I don’t know who swung first, but I heard that he kicked her a couple of times and then he stabbed her. That’s all I know. I just don’t know what else she was doing to defend her bicycle or herself because she just didn’t want it to get stolen again,” Smith said.

Smith said that she’s devastated over the death.

“You know, murder is a hard one to swallow,” she lamented.

Smith spoke candidly about her cousin’s emotional and substance abuse problems as an adult.

“My cousin was an alcoholic and she was also a schizophrenic,” Smith said. “She wasn’t on medication, and she drank beer all the time. When they did put her on medication for her schizophrenia, it made her sick. She chose the alcohol over her medication. I just want her to be remembered as a person that would give the shirt off of her back to anybody. She would give you anything in the world. All you’d have to do is ask her.”

Contact reporter Selwyn Harris at sharris@pvtimes.com. or on X, formerly Twitter: @pvtimes.

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