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Out Of The Darkness: Escaping The Las Vegas Tunnels

Ryan Weber/ Courtesy

If you don’t know Matt O’Brien, it’s very likely you know his book, "Beneath the Neon." The book was an investigation of the sewer tunnels and the people who live in them underneath Las Vegas.

O’Brien, though, is leaving Las Vegas next week and moving to Central America.

But before he goes south of the border, he’s here with us to talk about what’s in store and how the people in the tunnels will not be forgotten.

His community project, Shine A Light, which helps people escape the tunnels, will keep going while he's gone. But it will have someone else in charge.

Paul Vautrinot lived for years in the tunnels under Las Vegas and Henderson. He only got out after a warrant arrest by Henderson police. After a second chance in drug court, he overcame drug addiction, got married and has a child.

O'Brien is leaving him in charge of Shine A Light.

Matt O'Brien, author, "Beneath the Neon"; Paul Vautrinot, head of Shine A Light

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Joe Schoenmann joined Nevada Public Radio in 2014. He works with a talented team of producers at State of Nevada who explore the casino industry, sports, politics, public health and everything in between.