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Henderson police ID juvenile suspects in killing of Las Vegas teen

Updated June 12, 2018 - 4:29 pm

The two juvenile suspects in the killing of 17-year-old Matthew Minkler, whose body was found inside an abandoned Henderson house, have been identified.

Jaiden Caruso, 16, and his co-defendant, 17-year-old Kody Harlen, are being charged as adults. Caruso is facing a charge of murder with a deadly weapon, and Harlen faces charges of accessory to murder after the fact and destroying evidence, according to Henderson police.

Caruso and Harlen were being held Tuesday at the Clark County Detention Center. They initially were booked Saturday into the county’s juvenile detention center. Further details were not immediately available, as the pair’s arrest reports had not been released as of Tuesday afternoon.

Caruso last attended Silverado High School during the 2017-18 school year, but no student by the name of Kody Harlen has been enrolled in the Clark County School District, according to a district spokesman.

Matthew was found dead from a gunshot wound to the head late Friday inside an empty house on the 2000 block of Cool Lilac Avenue. The Las Vegas teen was found in the kitchen of the house, according to the Clark County coroner’s office.

The homicide investigation was opened 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 abandoned, but county property records show that it was sold in January for $390,000 to a limited liability company. Records also indicate that no liens have been filed against the 3,717-square-foot home in the last three years.

Police have not said how the juveniles knew the property was vacant.

Matthew’s family has denied requests for comment. A GoFundMe account has been created to assist with his funeral costs.

Contact Rio Lacanlale at rlacanlale@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0381. Follow @riolacanlale on Twitter.

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