MIAMI (CBSMiami) — It’s been 24 years since the Shannon Melendi case rocked South Florida. She’s the Miami college student who was kidnapped and murdered by Butch Hinton in Atlanta where she attended college.
Hinton is up for parole next year and her family is doing whatever it can to make sure he does not get out of prison where he is currently serving a life sentence in Georgia.
The Melendi family has launched a petition drive to deny him a chance at freedom on their business website.
The website asks supporters to copy and paste the online letter and send it to the State of Georgia Board of Pardons-Parole in Atlanta.
The letter starts, “Please deny parole to Colvin C. Hinton, III. He is a sexual predator. He kidnapped, raped and murdered Shannon Melendi. Since the day of her disappearance, her parents, sister, and my South Florida community have struggled to become whole. Colvin C. Hinton, III must not be let out of prison.”
It goes on to explain exactly who Shannon Melendi was and her dreams for the future which included becoming a lawyer and one day serving as a United States Supreme Court Justice.
Melendi disappeared without a trace on March 26, 1994 while working as a part-time scorekeeper during a softball game in Atlanta where she attended Emory University.
Hinton was an umpire that day.
After her disappearance, there was a massive search but her body was never found.
It took years but Hinton eventually confessed to the murder. He told police he kidnapped Melendi at knifepoint from the softball field, took her to his home, tied her up, raped her, strangled her and burned her body, scattering the ashes somewhere else.
In Sept. 2005, he was convicted of murder and sentenced to life in prison.
Click here for more information on the petition which is posted on the family’s photo studio website.
Shannon’s younger sister Monique Melendi wrote about the petition on her Facebook page Monday.