Jayden Sterzer has been convicted of raping and killing his young neighbor after asking her to help him look for his cat that ran away. Sterzer allegedly lied to 12-year-old Kailey Vijil about losing his cat and then took her to a secluded location where he strangled her and sexually abused her before dumping the body and fleeing the scene.
According to reports, Vijil’s body was found nude and battered in a field near her home just a few hours after she went out with Sterzer to look for the missing cat. Her pajamas were found feet away from her body and a piece of material was tied around her neck. After a short police investigation and a medical examiner inspected the body, evidence was discovered on the corpse that linked Sterzer to the crime.
During the trial, Sterzer’s defense team expressed to the court that the suspect has a very low mental IQ and that he was unaware of the atrocity he was committing when he killed Vijil. The jurors, though, ultimately decided that Sterzer was more than aware of what he was doing because he had created and carried out a cunning rouse to get his young neighbor to go out searching for a cat with him.
After the guilty verdict was read, it was then Sterzer’s lawyer’s mission to try and get the teenager sentenced to spending several more years in a juvenile detention center before being sent to a federal prison.
They claimed that Sterzer was in no way mentally prepared to be sent to a jail with other inmates who have committed horrendous crimes. Ultimately, it was determined that Sterzer will stay at a juvenile center until he is 21 years old and then he will spend the remaining years of his jail sentence in a federal prison.