Lyon County District Attorney Announces That Charges Will Not be Filed in Murder of Sierra Ceccarelli at This Time
Reno resident Robert Paul Eikelberger was arrested for a murder committed on December 9th, 2016, but he has since been released from custody. Since then, the case has been transferred to the Lyon County District Attoney's Office due to a possible conflict of interest with the Washoe County District Attorney.
The Lyon County District Attorney announced Friday that they have decided not to file charges in the open murder case of Sierra Ceccarelli at this time.
The statement read:
After reviewing the reports and information related to the case, the Lyon County District
Attorney’s Office decided not to file charges in the case at this time. This does not preclude
further review or consideration of the case at a later date.
The Lyon County District Attorney’s Office, Washoe County District Attorney’s Office and
Reno Police Department are not in a position to discuss the facts of the case or the status of the
investigation at this time, other than to confirm that an investigation into the matter continues.
Release of information related to a pending investigation may compromise the integrity of the
investigation. It is also necessary that all of these agencies protect the rights of the victim and
the victim’s family, and all persons involved in the case. For all these reasons, additional
information regarding the facts and status of the investigation cannot be provided at this time.
According to documents obtained from the Reno Police Department, the crime happened at a home in South Reno, where police responded to a 911 call the night of December 9th, 2016. When officers arrived, they found Sierra Ceccarelli shot dead inside the home, and the 41-year-old suspect, Robert Eikelberger, standing outside in the driveway.
According to the arrest report, Eikelberger told police he didn't know the woman and said she shot herself. Police noted Eikelberger was making odd statements and told officers he was drunk.
Responding police immediately noticed several things they found suspicious, including the placement of the gun near the woman's body and physical signs that she had been dead for longer than Eikelberger claimed.
With a search warrant, officers found a store receipt from earlier that day, where officers later reviewed surveillance video that showed the victim and suspect together. Police also reviewed the victim's cell phone records, which showed fourteen 911 calls made just a few hours before police responded to the home. None of those calls were completed.
Autopsy and forensic results received in the fall of 2017 brought new evidence to light. The results showed the gunshot wound was not self-inflicted and that gunshot residue was ultimately found on Eikelberger's clothing.
Just a few months later, on February 23, 2018, Eikelberger was finally behind bars. The suspect was originally booked into Washoe County Jail, but was released last week when the case was transferred to Lyon County.
Reno police arrested Reno resident Robert Paul Eikelberger for the December 9th, 2016 homicide of 29-year-old Sierra Ceccarelli. Washoe County DA Chris Hicks has extended family that is loosely related to family of the defendant. There is no direct relationship however the DA's office says it did not want to take any chances with a potential conflict of interest.