Man tells police he killed man, left body to be eaten by coyotes

A Pahrump man who told authorities he killed his neighbor and left the body for coyotes was arrested Thursday.

Deputies responded to reports of a perturbed man saying he had “done a terrible thing,” according to the Nye County Sheriff’s Office.

Peter Jason Helfrich told deputies he killed his neighbor Wednesday night and dumped the body near Wheeler Pass Road in hopes that it would be eaten by coyotes, the reports say. Nye County Search and Rescue found the victim’s body in a ravine in Wheeler Pass.

Detectives said evidence at the scene backed Helfrich’s story and that a second suspect, Silvia Castillo, participated in the slaying and disposal of the body. Authorities are searching for Castillo.

Helfrich, 36, was booked into the Nye County Detention Center on multiple charges including first-degree murder. He is jailed without bail.

The Clark County coroner’s office will determine the cause of death and release the identity of the victim.

Anyone with information about the incident or the whereabouts of Castillo are asked to call the Nye County Sheriff’s Office at 775-751-7000 or confidentially e-mail

Contact reporter Colton Lochhead at or 702-383-0264.

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