Jeremy Strohmeyer is behind bars for murdering a 7-year-old girl, Sherrice Iverson, inside a casino in Primm, Nevada.
On the morning of May 25, 1997, Strohmeyer was at the Primadonna Resort and Casino with a friend when he ran into Sherrice, a second-grade student at 75th Street Elementary School in Los Angeles, California.
She was there with her family, celebrating Memorial Day weekend.
They were supposed to check into a hotel room, but when an employee told them there weren’t any available rooms, they decided to stay and enjoy themselves.
Sherrice’s father gambled, while she and her brother played in the arcade.
Several hours later, Sherrice wandered off alone, and the security guard located her and returned her to her father.
Since it was her second time leaving the area, the security guard asked her family to leave the casino, but her father continued to gamble.
Sherrice returned to the arcade, but she fell asleep, and about 45 minutes later, she was gone again, according to AP News.
Her father and the security guard went looking for her, but the search ended around 5:30 a.m. when an employee found Sherrice dead inside a restroom stall.
She was naked, except for a shirt, and her clothes were inside the toilet.
The medical examiner ruled her death a homicide after the autopsy showed that she died from asphyxiation due to strangulation.
When investigators reviewed surveillance footage from the Primadonna Resort and Casino, they saw Sherrice playing hide-and-seek with Strohmeyer.
He was an 18-year-old senior at Woodrow Wilson High School in Long Beach, California.
In the footage, authorities saw Sherrice run into the women’s restroom around 3:48 a.m., and Strohmeyer followed behind her.
His friend also went into the restroom, but he walked out a few minutes later.
Strohmeyer wasn’t seen walking out of the restroom until about 25 minutes later.
On May 28, 1997, police officials arrested Strohmeyer at his home in California. He was booked into the Los Angeles County Jail, where he was held without bail.
He was ultimately extradited to Nevada to face charges of first-degree murder, first-degree kidnapping, and sexual assault of a minor.
In a recorded interview with Las Vegas police officials, Strohmeyer confessed to sexually assaulting and murdering Sherrice.
Strohmeyer told detectives that after he and Sherrice entered the restroom, he forced her into the wheelchair-accessible stall. It was there that he muffled her screams with one hand and stripped her of her clothing with the other.
At some point, he noticed his friend was peeping over the stall, watching what he was doing to Sherrice. Instead of stopping him, his friend left, according to the Review-Journal.
Strohmeyer began sexually assaulting Sherrice, but he stopped when she started screaming. To silence her, he said he “squeezed her neck,” which reportedly caused her to lose consciousness.
During that time, two women walked into the restroom. And in an effort to make it appear as if he was the only person in the stall, Strohmeyer placed Sherrice on the toilet, sat in front of her, and leaned back.
When he heard her gurgle and gasp for air, he put his hand over her mouth.
Strohmeyer told detectives that he decided to kill Sherrice because he wanted to experience death; therefore, he claimed he broke her neck.
He grabbed a napkin and wiped the blood and saliva from her face before leaving the restroom to join his friend in the arcade.
At his sentencing, Strohmeyer apologized and asked Sherrice’s family for forgiveness.
“I have done a monstrous thing, and I’m prepared, indeed willing, to be punished for it for the rest of my life,” he said.
“If I were given the opportunity to exchange my life for Sherrice’s and bring her back, I would not hesitate, not even for a second.”
Strohmeyer claimed he blacked out during the murder and only remembered a portion of what he did.
“Can you imagine what it would be like to open your eyes, not knowing where you were or how you got there? To find yourself looking down on a half-naked, dying little girl?” Strohmeyer asked.
Sherrice’s mother responded. She said, “You killed an innocent child who wasn’t doing anything to you. I don’t know what possessed you. You are a demon, a devil. I can’t forgive you. I want you to suffer.”
To avoid the death penalty, Strohmeyer pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting and murdering Sherrice. The judge sentenced him to life in prison without the chance of parole.
In 2000, Strohmeyer appealed his conviction. He claimed his attorneys pressured him to plead guilty to the charges.
A judge later denied his request for a new trial and upheld his murder conviction.