Family Of Murdered Girl Outraged After Convicted Killer Accidentally Released From Jail

Sep 2, 2019, 7:17 PM | Updated: Sep 3, 2019, 11:45 am

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – The family of a 12-year-old girl who was raped and murdered is outraged that her killer was accidentally let out of jail.

Four years after Kailey Vijil’s death, family and friends took a solemn stance Monday in her memory. They also gathered together to talk about what they’re calling an injustice.

“We cherish every moment that we had with her. We won’t have that moment anymore,” said Madeline Greymountain, a spokesperson for the Vijil family. “The family would be devastated to have any other family go through the last four years of hell.”

On July 16, 2015, a 15-year-old boy lured 12-year-old Kailey away from her home, asking her to help him find his lost cat. Her body was discovered about three hours later in a horse pasture.

Jayden Matthew Sterzer, who is now 19, was convicted of raping and murdering Kailey. Because he was a juvenile at the time, he was ordered to be held in a youth detention center until he turned 21.

On Aug. 20, Sterzer allegedly assaulted a staff member at the detention center. Police were called and he was taken to jail.

But six days later, no formal assault charges were filed. Sterzer was let out of jail, which is typical protocol.

Sheriff Rosie Rivera said it was because officials weren’t told who Sterzer was.

“When he was booked in, nobody knew who he was,” Rivera said. “He was just booked in and we waited for the charges and there were no charges so he was released.”

The juvenile detention center said it did try to alert the jail, but they sent Sterzer’s case history by fax machine. That fax machine was no longer in service.

The district attorney’s office found out about Sterzer’s release, issued a new arrest warrant and Sterzer was re-arrested four hours later.

Greymountain said there is a flaw in the system.

“There is nothing that will bring Kailey back and forever the family’s hearts have been changed,” she said. “But the least that can be done is full justice with competence. The message to all those handling offenders is do your job right. Protect the public and take responsibility.”

Rivera said the jail has already taken several steps on their end to make sure something like this doesn’t happen again.

“If we find out that there is either a high profile or a very violent individual such as this individual, we will make a phone call to the arresting agency and say hey, we’re going to be releasing him,” Rivera said. “You failed to file. You need to get paperwork in. So that way it never happens on our part again.”

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

Local News

Dan Spindle

‘Dust Lake City’ disaster looming as Utah professor fights to save the Great Salt Lake

It's clear how much the Great Salt Lake has shrunk over the years. But there is something in the air that's not so clear. KSL's Dan Spindle reveals the threats newly exposed dust and minerals at the lake pose to millions along the Wasatch Front.
24 hours ago
Ashley Moser

Idaho teens travel to Ukraine, gift families new homes amid war

Three Ukrainian families have new homes thanks to a group of Idaho teens who raised $50,000 for the humanitarian trip.
24 hours ago
The unfinished housing complex. 800 Block....
Mike Anderson

USU students scramble for housing after apartments drop them from lease

Some students at Utah State University are in a crunch to find housing after hundreds were dumped from their leases at a new apartment complex.
24 hours ago
The Jordan Education Foundation has set a grant to help teachers buy school supplies for their clas...
Shelby Lofton

How you can help Utah teachers buy classroom supplies

With the start of school just days away, a lot of teachers are reaching into their own wallets to buy school supplies. A foundation through the Jordan School District hopes to prevent them from having to do that.
24 hours ago
Ladd Egan

Workforce Services Economist: Despite recession fears, labor market ‘begging for workers’

Despite the signs of a recession and a shrinking economy, Utah's workforce still needs workers to fill a revolving job market.
24 hours ago
Dan Rascon

Friends save man pinned under car in West Valley City

It was a terrifying scene in West Valley City Sunday night after a reckless and speeding car flew off of Redwood Road and into a crowd of people, trapping one man underneath.
24 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

tips how to quit smoking...

7 Tips How to Quit Smoking | Quitting Smoking Might be One of the Hardest Things You Ever Do but Here’s Where You Can Start

Quitting smoking cigarettes can be incredibly difficult. Here are 7 tips how to quit smoking to help you on your quitting journey.
Photo: Storyblocks...
Blue Stakes of Utah 811

Blue Stakes of Utah 811: 5 Reasons To Call 811 Before You Dig When Working in Your Yard

Call before you dig. Even at home, you could end up with serious injuries or broken utilities just because you didn't call Blue Stakes of Utah 811.
Days of...
Days of '47 Rodeo

TRIVIA: How well do you know your rodeo? Take this quiz before you go to the Days of ’47!

The Utah Days of ’47 Rodeo presented by Zions Bank is a one-of-a-kind Gold Medal Rodeo being held July 20-23, 25 at 7:30 PM. The Days of ’47 Rodeo How well do you know your rodeo trivia? Take the quiz to test your know-all before heading out to the Days of ’47 Rodeo at the […]
cyber security through multi factor authentication setup...
Les Olson IT

How multi factor authentication setup helps companies stay safe

Multi factor authentication (MFA) setup is an important security measure that every company should implement for their workers. It’s also wise to install it for your personal and home accounts.
Lighting Design

Check out these stunning lamps with stained glass shades

Lamps with stained glass shades are statement pieces that are more than simply aesthetic. They also meet a functional requirement: to light up a room.
Address Bar of internet browser shows internet access...

Utah voters 50+ support increased access to Internet

The AARP surveyed Utah voters aged 50 plus about internet access and if they support the expansion of broadband, especially in rural areas currently lacking it.
Family Of Murdered Girl Outraged After Convicted Killer Accidentally Released From Jail