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Tuesday, July 16, 2024

Who was Shannon Melendi: Full Case Timeline

Shannon Melendi, a 19-year-old girl from New Jersey, vanished from her job more than 25 years ago and has never been heard from again. Her vanishing sparked national interest, yet certain details of the event remain murky. Who was Shannon Melendi: Full Case Timeline.

Who was Shannon Melendi?

Shannon Melendi was a 19-year-old student at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia, when she vanished while working as an umpire at a local softball field. She was raised in Miami, Florida, where she was active on her high school debate team and played for her high school soccer team. But her aspirations and goals went far beyond her home; according to 11Alive News in 2020, her parents said that they had always known.

Her mother, Yvonne, added, “She wanted to join the navy and her whole plan was to go to Washington. She aspired to be on the Supreme Court. And I don’t doubt she could have made it. “

What happened to Shannon Melendi?

Shannon Melendi was last seen alive in March 1994. When she did not return from her shift at a softball field in DeKalb County, Georgia, the following day, police discovered her automobile near a gasoline station with the doors still locked and received a phone call claiming to be Shannon Melendi shortly thereafter.

The call was traced to a phone booth, where police found Melendi’s rings wrapped in tape inside a bag. Because traces of cobalt were discovered on the tape, investigators connected it to Butch Hinton, an umpire at the same softball field where Melendi worked who worked for Delta Airlines in Atlanta.

According To John Petrey, one of the main prosecutors, an aeronautical scientist they hired determined that cobalt came from an aircraft manufacturer or an airfield maintenance business based on evidence of cobalt found on the tape.

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But before the connection could be made, responders arrived at Hinton home, which was on fire, and he was charged with attempting to destroy a crime scene. He was sentenced to seven years in prison for insurance fraud and arson, but what was discovered in his backyard perplexed prosecutors, cops, and Petrey himself.

“I looked on the internet and found a website for an urban legend,” he added. “It was about a murder in Hinton’s backyard, which we discovered after digging up his lawn. Buried in (Hinton’s’) yard—and we were amazed at that—there were numerous sweaters, clothing of various sizes.” Skirts, sweaters, blouses were all buried there. It was strange.”

Despite their findings, investigators did not find Melendi’s body.

Was Butch Hinton charged with Shannon Melendi’s death?

When Butch Hinton was about to be released from prison for his arson and insurance fraud convictions, Petrey announced that they thought they had enough evidence to charge Hinton with the murder of Shannon Melendi.

It’s been ten years since she vanished while playing softball, and prosecutors said they’d discovered evidence suggesting Hinton was a sexual offender from a sexual assault conviction in his early 20s.

The prosecution presented evidence that Hinton had implicated himself in the crime and obtained statements from other jail inmates who had heard him confess.

In 2005, a jury convicted Hinton of the murder of Shannon Melendi, and he appealed his conviction. But when he was told his appeal had failed, he admitted to raping and killing Melendi, although he never told prosecutors or police where her body was.

Petrey said, “Hinton raped her, left her tied up, went to a movie with, I think, some nieces and nephews… came back, checked on her again, gave her a glass of water, raped her again, strangled her, and killed her.”

Is her killer up for parole?

Hinton is up for parole every seven years, with his next eligibility date set for 2025. Hinton was sentenced to life in prison without the prospect of release after he was convicted of murdering Shannon Melendi.

Hinton is appealing his negative credibility finding to the Fifth District Court of Appeal in Austin. In 2012, Melendi’s family fought to keep Hinton imprisoned, and the decision was decided by a majority vote of a review board. Before each casts their vote, they read letters and opposition statements into files.

The board once again reviewed Hinton’s release date in 2020, and Yvonne Melendi of the Department of Corrections stated, “When you have to go through it again, it’s difficult. It’s extremely hard. He does have a sliver of optimism. He shouldn’t have any hope at all.

“They should just say, lock him up, throw away the key. Because that’s where he belongs.”

Hinton remained in jail for a year and a half after his arrest, and Melendi’s father Luis said to CBS46 News in September 2021, “It has just been 27-28 years of insanity for our family dealing with this criminal.”

“I don’t think I’ll ever get closure. I was really hoping that we would outlive him. My wife died of Covid, and he’s still there,” he said.

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