Danielle Nemetz, aka Tarrah Danielle Rippeon, was an American wife who was shot dead in her home by her husband, Joint Base Lewis-McChord soldier Skylar Nemetz, two years ago. This weekend, CBS’ 48 Hours will share the couple’s tragic story.
On the next episode titled, “The Soldier’s Wife,” you’ll hear about the case of a teen bride who thought she’d met the love of her life until she was gunned down by her husband, a soldier who had just returned home from training. Was this an accident as her husband claims, or is this a case of murder? CBS’ 48 Hours will present the story by showing rare photos and video footage. Listen as Skylar Nemetz tells his side of the story along with his parents and police officers who were assigned to the case.
Police were summoned to an apartment in Lakewood, Washington, in 2014. The caller dialed 911, stating that he heard what sounded like a gunshot and a scream. When officers entered the apartment, they found the body of a white female who had been shot one time in the back of the head.
The woman was identified as 19-year-old Danielle Rippeon Nemetz. Her distraught husband, Skylar Nemetz, a military man who had recently returned home, stood nearby, stating that he had accidentally shot his wife. His story changed several times.
During the initial police investigation, detectives disputed his story and pointed to the fact that Skylar had attempted to clean up the scene to get rid of evidence. He also ran out of the home, leaving his wife, instead of helping her and immediately calling 911. The autopsy report showed that the victim had died from the gunshot wound, which struck her right in the center of the back of her head. It appeared that Danielle Nemetz was sitting at her computer when she was shot.
Police learned that prior to the shooting, the couple received a visit from a man who dropped off a bottle of whiskey to the home. Judging by his behavior, it was noted that the visit appeared to have upset Skylar Nemetz. Within two hours of that visit, his wife was dead, according to the Daily Mail.
Skylar and Danielle were high school sweethearts who seemed to be deeply in love and seriously committed to each other. Their relationship was described as intense and passionate. Danielle Rippeon Nemetz was a soft-spoken, bubbly girl who loved Skylar dearly. In her mind, their relationship was like a fairy tale — a love that would never end.
However, it did end, and her husband Skylar Nemetz is the one who was charged in her death. It’s something that grieves Danielle’s family and friends tremendously.
Prosecutors say Skylar had a fascination with guns. They also alleged that after returning home from training, Skylar shot and killed his wife in a jealous rage. Then, he put the rifle in the closet and flushed the whiskey down the toilet. Video footage captured the former soldier as he cried, stating that he would never intentionally hurt his wife.
In several internet crime forums, many have asked why Skylar Nemetz would kill the one person who he claimed to love. They also wonder if his love of guns and his extensive gun training could have led to a desire to see what it was like to actually aim and shoot someone in real life. Unfortunately, no one will actually know the truth.
A jury exacted justice by convicting Skylar Nemetz of manslaughter and sentencing him to a little over 13 years in prison. To some, he should have been convicted of murder, but it is a verdict that most are willing to accept.
Danielle Nemetz was a former cheerleader at McKinleyville High School, according to her obituary. She also enjoyed posting hair and makeup videos on her YouTube account.
Joint Base Lewis-McChord (JBLM) is a training base located in the Pacific Northwest, near Lakewood Washington. It is also not far from the cities of Tacoma and Olympia. The base is outfitted with state-of-the-art daycare centers, schools, and medical facilities.
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