20 years marked since killing of 7-year-old girl in Primm casino - FOX5 Vegas - KVVU

20 years marked since killing of 7-year-old girl in Primm casino

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The body of Sherrice Iverson, who is seen in this undated, was found inside a restroom of the Primadonna Casino in Primm, NV, on May 25, 1997. (FOX5) The body of Sherrice Iverson, who is seen in this undated, was found inside a restroom of the Primadonna Casino in Primm, NV, on May 25, 1997. (FOX5)
Jeremy Strohmeyer was 18 years old when he was arrested for the death of Sherrice Iverson. (FOX5) Jeremy Strohmeyer was 18 years old when he was arrested for the death of Sherrice Iverson. (FOX5)
PRIMM, NV (FOX5) -

Twenty years ago Thursday, the body of a seven-year-old girl was found inside a restroom stall at the Primadonna hotel-casino at the Nevada state line south of Las Vegas.

Investigators found that the girl, Sherrice Iverson, was raped and had her neck snapped in what was viewed as one of the most infamous killings in modern Nevada history.

According to law enforcement, Iverson had been seen wandering around the casino floor while her father was gaming. Another relative was responsible for looking after the child.

During that time, Iverson encountered an 18-year-old, Jeremy Strohmeyer, who had traveled to Primm with a friend and that friend's father. Authorities said Strohmeyer followed the girl into the women's restroom.

Strohmeyer's best friend, David Cash Jr., was also in the restroom. He said Strohmeyer took Iverson into a stall, and, after about 20 minutes, came out with no sign of the girl. Prosecutors stated Strohmeyer told his friend that he had molested the girl and killed her. Cash was never charged with a crime.

After Iverson's body was found, surveillance video images went public of a person of interest tied to the case. Friends of Strohmeyer recognized the teen and informed authorities. Law enforcement took the teen into custody in California, and, when interviewed, Strohmeyer admitted to the incident.

While there was a confession on record, Strohmeyer was heading for trial. It wasn't until hours before the trial was set to begin that Strohmeyer decided to plead guilty to murder, kidnapping, and sexual assault, drawing life sentences.

"I am sorry," Strohmeyer said during his sentencing. "I am sorry for my part in the tragedy that took place that early morning -- the tragedy that took place in little Sherrice's untimely death."

"I want you to suffer in that jailhouse. You're going to suffer, and I hate to look at your evil crazy-looking face like you ain't did nothing to nobody," said the girl's mother, Yolanda Manuel.

After getting a taste of prison, Strohmeyer said he only pleaded guilty because his lawyer pressured him. He has been fighting for a chance at parole, and his next hearing is scheduled for June. He is now married to a woman "on the outside." The two met exchanging letters.

In the two decades since the killing, Iverson's death gave way to changes in terms of the law.

A Nevada law passed in 2000 making it punishable by fine or jail time for anyone who fails to report a crime involving a violent or sexual offense against a child younger than 18.

In addition, the so-called Sherrice Iverson Child Victim Protection Act requires a person to notify law enforcement if they witness a murder, rape, or lewd act involving a victim under 14 years old.

"She will never be able to go to high school and accomplish her dreams," Manuel said. "That's what hurts me."

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