The juvenile whose body was found Friday in an abandoned Henderson house has been identified as a 17-year-old Las Vegas boy.
Matthew Minkler died of a gunshot wound to the head, according to the Clark County coroner. His death was ruled a homicide Monday, three days after Henderson police found him dead in a house in the 2000 block of Cool Lilac Avenue.
“We are beyond devastated and hurting more than imaginable,” Matthew’s cousin, Leah Robbins-Golden, wrote in a GoFundMe account created to assist with funeral costs. “We will never get to see that beautiful smile or get those loving Matt hugs that just brighten our days.”
A Clark County School District spokesman on Monday said he could neither confirm nor deny that a student named Matthew Minkler was enrolled in school.
Two boys were arrested in connection with Matthew’s killing, police said. One faces a charge of murder with a deadly weapon, and the other faces charges of accessory to murder after the fact and destroying evidence. Further details were not released because the suspects are minors.
The homicide investigation was opened late Friday after Henderson officers tried to pull over a stolen vehicle being driven recklessly near East Sunset Road and Green Valley Parkway. Police said that when the car blew through a red light and crashed at the intersection, five juveniles inside the car got out and ran.
Once in custody, police said, the juveniles gave up information about the homicide, leading detectives to the house on Cool Lilac Avenue.
It is not clear how long the house has been empty, but county property records show that it was sold in January for $390,000 to a limited liability company. Its previous owner could not be reached Monday for comment. Records also indicate that no liens have been filed against the 3,717-square-foot home in the last three years.
Police did not say how the juveniles knew the property was vacant.
Officers also arrested one of the juveniles who ran from the car on vehicle theft and traffic charges and a fourth one on unrelated but unspecified charges.
Matthew’s killing is the fourth homicide investigated by Henderson police this year. All but one of those deaths were gun-related, according to records maintained by the Las Vegas Review-Journal.
Henderson police ask that anybody with information on the homicide contact them at 702-267-4911 or Crime Stoppers at 702-385-5555.