More than two months after a missing teenage girl’s body was found in a sewer drain, the Clark County coroner’s office ruled her death a homicide, though investigators failed to determine how exactly the teen died.
The body of Tamyah Trotter, 17, was found in the drain on Jan. 19, on the 2100 block of Fred Brown Drive, near Martin Luther King and Lake Mead boulevards. She had been missing since at least Dec. 12, according to Las Vegas police.
The discovery was made after 22-year-old Jayshawn Bailey, a resident of the area, called 911 to report the body.
He was arrested two days later on a murder charge.
On Monday, the coroner’s office said Tamyah’s cause of death had been ruled a “homicide by unspecified means,” a conclusion when the preponderance of evidence and investigative data suggest homicide despite the absence of an identifiable cause of death, according to an article published in the American Journal of Forensic Medicine and Pathology.
Though her exact cause of death remains unknown, Bailey, the suspect, previously told police he had “placed the teen in a headlock” until her body went limp.
At the time of the discovery, Bailey initially claimed that about a month prior to calling 911, he was outside smoking when he witnessed two people “place something in the sewer near his residence,” according to his arrest report.
Weeks later, Bailey said at the time, he was curious and decided to lift a manhole cover near that same sewage drain, but did not immediately call police when he saw the body because he was “scared.”
“According to Bailey, two weeks later he was haunted by what he saw in the sewer so he phoned the police and reported what he found,” his report states.
It was not until police confronted Bailey about Tamyah’s disappearance, according to the report, that he admitted to meeting the teen on Dec. 12, the last time she was seen alive, at a McDonald’s not far from where her body had been dumped. During that encounter, Bailey told police, Tamyah said that she had been kicked out of the house by her family.
That night, the report states, the teen stayed at Bailey’s house.
Bailey claims that Tamyah, a student at Desert Rose High School in North Las Vegas, became “aggressive,” and that’s when he “placed her in a headlock.”
Efforts to reach Tamyah’s family for comment on Monday were unsuccessful.
The suspect is being held without bail at the Clark County Detention Center as he awaits his preliminary hearing set for April 1.