DNA results identify remains found in North Platte building as Vieyra

March 25 fire at Vieyra Metal Works
Jerome Vieyra
Jerome Vieyra(Courtesy Photo)
Published: May. 4, 2022 at 2:03 PM CDT|Updated: May. 4, 2022 at 2:05 PM CDT
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NORTH PLATTE, Neb. (KNOP) - Preliminary autopsy results reveal the human remains found in the burned rubble of the Vieyra Metal Works building in North Platte are the remains of 37-year old Jerome Vieyra. The Vieyra Metal Works building, owned by Vieyra burned on March 25. The North Platte Police Department was in contact with Vieyra at the time of the fire. He went into the building and was not seen again.

A first search did not locate Vieyra.

From March 27 to March 31, a missing person advisory was released until a body was found in the second search.

According to Sergeant Larry Meyer with the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Department, the preliminary autopsy shows Vieyra died from smoke inhalation and burns. Late last week, DNA from his parents was matched at the UNMC lab with samples from the autopsy.

Sergeant Meyer is putting together a package for a Grand Jury to convene on this case. The North Platte Police Department was on scene before the fire, and according to Sergeant Meyer, Vieyra was acting “erratically,” and he would not talk to officers.

“It’s a border-line in-custody death, so there will be a Grand Jury to show the department did everything it could. They’ll see the facts and the videos.”

Sergeant Larry Meyer, Lincoln County Sheriff’s Department

Seargent Meyer said the initial search for Vieyra was “very thorough.”

“It truly was. We made the decision to search again because he had not turned up. Based on his remains, it is easy to see how they were missed the first time. The city, fire, state fire marshall, and investigators; it was an excellent job by everyone. I can understand how it could be missed. The family is grateful for closure.”

Sergeant Larry Meyer, Lincoln County Sheriff’s Department

Sergeant Meyer says this and all deaths because of drugs are a great tragedy.

“If not for a drug problem, we [law enforcement] probably would not have a lot to do. The majority of the bad things we see stem back to drugs. Vieyra was such a good, talented man. The drugs made him someone he wasn’t. And that is a tragedy.”

Sergeant Larry Meyer, Lincoln County Sheriff’s Department

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