Las Vegas man arrested in connection with Saturday morning death

A man was arrested and charged in connection with the death of a 56-year-old woman in the southwest valley Saturday morning after a physical altercation, according to Las Vegas police.

Police arrested Neal Huff, 51, in connection with the Saturday morning killing. The Clark County coroner’s office identified the victim as Karen Vernel Hevener.

“Everything was normal the night before,” said neighbor Anton Yurukov. “It’s so sad. I can’t believe it.”

Police responded to the residence in the 5800 block of Sleep Spruce Street, near Russell Road and Durango Drive, shortly after 8 a.m. Upon arriving to the house, officers met Huff with what they called “apparent signs of trauma around his neck.”

Officers entered the house and found Hevener’s dead body by the pool in the backyard.

According to police, Huff and Hevener got into an argument that escalated to a physical altercation. The fight spilled into the backyard, with both Huff and Hevener falling into the pool.

Police said they suspect Huff drowned the woman while fighting with her in the water, and then tried to kill himself, unsuccessfully.

The news of the killing shocked Yurukov, who said his stomach was in knots after police told him what happened.

“He was a good neighbor. He wasn’t aggressive,” Yurukov said. “I don’t know what happened.”

Police did not detail their relationship, but neighbors said that the two were a married couple who moved from Pahrump earlier this year.

Huff was transported to Spring Valley Hospital for his injuries before being taken to the Clark County Detention Center later in the day, police said.

Huff was charged with one count of murder. His initial hearing is set for Monday at 7:30 a.m.

Anyone with information about this incident should call the Metropolitan Police Department’s Homicide section at 702-828-3521 or to remain anonymous, contact Crime Stoppers at 702-385-5555 or online at www.crimestoppersofnv.com

Review-Journal writer Annalise Porter contributed to this report. Contact reporter Colton Lochhead at clochhead@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-4638. Follow @ColtonLochhead on Twitter.