Chuck Chaiyakul told police that he traveled as far as Pahrump to dump a storage bin containing Jennifer Ratay’s bullet-riddled body.
According to the Las Vegas man’s arrest report, released Friday, his search for a disposal site was prompted by complaints from his mother about a smell in the garage of their home. But, he told police, he eventually returned home with the body.
“Chuck could not find a location where he felt comfortable disposing of the storage tub, so he purchased a metal drum and transferred the body from the storage tub into the drum,” the report states.
The 38-year-old suspect, who faces charges of murder with a deadly weapon and being a prohibited person in possession of a gun, has been in custody at the Clark County Detention Center since his arrest Tuesday night, when the green drum was recovered. He will be held there without bail as he awaits his preliminary hearing in November.
Ratay had been reported missing Tuesday morning by a friend, who told police he had not heard from her since late Aug. 29, when the two were on the phone.
The friend said Ratay was being driven to his house by Chaiyakul, described in the report as an “acquaintance,” but at some point during that phone call, the friend heard what sounded like Chaiyakul striking Ratay — and then the call dropped.
According to Chaiyakul’s arrest report, the woman never made it to her friend’s house.
The missing persons report led detectives to a Garden Grove Avenue home, near Rainbow Boulevard and Flamingo Road, where Chaiyakul was living.
After a short conversation with police, Chaiyakul became emotional and said, “I will tell you everything,” according to his arrest report.
The suspect confessed to shooting Ratay multiple times as he drove near Lake Mead and Jones boulevards, according to the report. She was sitting in the front passenger seat, which police later discovered had been removed from the car.
It was unclear how long Ratay’s body had been in the storage bin before the suspect’s mother began to complain of the smell.
He told police he tossed gun parts out the window of his Toyota 4Runner while looking for a place to dump the body. After his failed search, Chaiyakul said, he drove back to his parents’ home, poured two bottles of ammonia over the corpse and sealed the 55-gallon metal drum.
Two days after the discovery, Garden Grove Avenue was briefly transformed into a vigil site for Ratay. Her 15-year-old daughter, Kelsi Jackson, told a crowd of about 30 people, “My mom didn’t deserve this.”
Chaiyakul, who has a criminal history in Clark County dating back to at least 2005, had been released from a Nevada prison in December and was staying with his mother in the Garden Grove home. His father told the Las Vegas Review-Journal earlier this week that he lives and works out of state.
Court records show that Chaiyakul had served a minimum two-year sentence in connection with a 2017 case for being a prohibited person in possession of a firearm.
According to the same records, he pleaded guilty in 2005 to manufacturing or importing dangerous weapons.