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Suspect charged with 'open murder' in killing of five in Nevada

Lyon County Sheriff's Office via AP

Jeremiah Bean, a 25-year-old person of interest who has been arrested after five people were found dead in one morning in northern Nevada.

A suspect has been charged with open murder for the brutal killing spree that resulted in five deaths on Monday and put a small western Nevada town on edge.

Lyon County police on Wednesday announced Jeremiah Diaz Bean, 25, who was arrested Monday on burglary charges, now faces the open murder charges along with arson, burglary, robbery, ex-felon in possession of a firearm and grand larceny counts.

The open murder charge means Bean can face homicide charges ranging from first degree murder to manslaughter.

Though autopsies have yet to determine a cause of death for the victims, Lyon County Sheriff Allen Veil told reporters that all five had suffered gunshot wounds.

Police believe Bean broke into the home of Robert Pape, 84, his wife, Dorothy, 84, then killed the couple in their Fernley, Nev. home and stole their car. The vehicle somehow became disabled near an interstate exit for an infamous brothel just outside of Reno.

That is where authorities say Eliazar Graham, 52, came upon Bean and was shot and killed. Police alleged Bean then returned to Fernley and murdered Angie Duff, 67 and Lester Leiber, 69, inside Duff’s home — just a short distance from where the Papes were killed. Bean was arrested after authorities found him hiding in a nearby neighbor’s garage with items taken from Pape’s home.

Police have yet to determine a motive, and said it is possible Bean was under the influence of drugs during his rampage. Veil said there is no indication that any other suspects are at large.   

“There should be a sense of relief that we believe we have the person we think did this is custody,” Veil said at a news conference Wednesday.

Police do not believe there is any connection between the five victims.

Lyon County Sheriffs’ officials say there is no immediate threat to the residents of Fernley, but urged everyone to take extra precautions in the wake of the murders that terrified the tight-knit community.

“This is a new one for me and after 31 plus years I know I haven’t seen it all, I wish I had, but this is just one that’s beyond words,” said Veil.

Police said Bean, who served time for burglary in 2011, also admitted to being a gang member.