LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — For the very first time, a Las Vegas Metro Police Homicide Lieutenant is revealing the clues investigators tracked down to try and solve a mysterious case of a Las Vegas mother who vanished without a trace nearly 5 years ago.
The mystery has baffled investigators since the moment Irma Mkrtchyan disappeared from Las Vegas.
"We're convinced that there was definitely foul play involved," said Lt. Ray Spencer with the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department's Homicide Section.
"That's why we are leading the investigation," added Spencer
Investigators say the facts simply did not add up or clearly point to what happened to Irma when she vanished on Jan. 19, 2014.
"Two separate [text] messages that were sent, very different messages, that kind of basically [were meant] to throw somebody off that she was missing," said Spencer.
The messages were the focus of what was believed to be Irma's final moments.
In one supposed message sent from Irma's phone, she told her ex-husband she was going to California for a business trip.
In another, Irma sent a message to her boss that she was leaving to attend a funeral in California.
"There was some cell phone data that we analyzed and we know when we were told he had left to go to work, we know she never left with her phone," said Spencer.
"That phone never left the house that evening," added Spencer.
Irma's car was found within a mile of her home with the key hidden behind the gas tank lid.
The home she shared with her ex-husband near Ft. Apache and Desert Inn was searched and investigators removed several items and removed nearly $100,000 in currency.
"Did she have a reason to leave? Are there other factors that could plan?" said Spencer about the mindset of investigators.
"Early on in the investigation, we did focus with the family members from the beginning," added Spencer.
As the days stretched into months and now 5 years later, Irma's brother Davit Mkrtchyan wants answers.
"The text messages came from her phone, but they can't prove my sister sent it," said Mkrtchyan.
As 13 Action News has reported previously, Irma's ex-husband and adult son believe she developed a drug problem, stayed or sought help at a Las Vegas women's shelter and may have ended up in Baja California, Mexico as part of a religious awakening.
"As far as there were some allegations of drug use, we were able to look into some of those things, but nothing given to us has, to this point, panned out," said Spencer.
"To the family or anyone looking for answers I say, don't lose hope, these cases can have an ending if the right person comes forward or the right piece of evidence is found," added Spencer.
Spencer says homicide cold cases are never closed and there is an entire unit dedicated to revisiting the files to make sure nothing was missed or overlooked.