Shannon Melendi’s family is fighting for justice.


Who was Shannon Melendy?

On March 26, 1994, 19-year-old goalkeeper Shannon Melendi of the Atlanta Softball Country Club was kidnapped from the field. More than 25 years have passed since Shannon Melendi, then 19, disappeared.

She grew up in Miami, Florida as part of a local soccer team and high school debate team. Her parents told 11Alive News in 2020 that her dreams and ambitions extended beyond home. Her father, Louis Melendi, said: “Every time I see a girl missing on the news, I have all kinds of terrible memories.” “She wanted to join the Navy in the JAG Corps and her whole plan was to go to Washington,” said her mother Yvonne. “It was her dream to go to the Supreme Court. And I have no doubt that she was able to succeed. “

What happened to Shannon Melendi?

Shannon Melendy was last seen alive at a softball arena in DeKalve County, Georgia in March 1994. The next day, authorities got a call from a person who claimed to be Shannon Melendi. The phone was traced to a phone booth, according to police. They later found her car parked outside a gas station and her keys inside. Melendy’s ring was taped inside a bag with traces of cobalt. Evidence goes back to referee Butch Hinton at the same softball arena where Melendi worked.

Rescuers arrived at Hinton’s house on fire just before a connection was made, and he was charged with attempting to destroy the crime scene. He was sentenced to seven years in prison for insurance fraud and arson. Still, evidence found in his backyard baffled the prosecutor’s office and “frightened Dickens out of the jury,” says Petrey.

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The investigator told the source: “After being buried in[Hinton’s]backyard, we were amazed. Sweaters, clothes of various sizes were found. It was too small for her wife. Skirts, sweaters, blouses, stores. It was strange.”
Despite their efforts, detectives were unable to retrieve Melendi’s body.

Hinton initially denied any involvement in Melendi’s kidnapping and appealed the decision when he was found guilty of the murder of Shannon Melendi by a jury in 2005. After the appeal was dismissed, he confessed to rap and murder, although he did not tell prosecutors or police where Melendi was buried.

“Hinton raped her and left her tied up and went to the movies, I think with a few nieces and nephews, went to the movies… Then came back, checked her again, gave her a glass of water, raped and strangled her again,” Petrey said. .Killed her.”

Hinton was sentenced to life in prison with the possibility of parole for the murder of Shannon Melendy. According to Georgia’s justice system, Hinton can get parole every seven years, with a next date set for 2025.
“We looked into Hinton and his prison experience, not life imprisonment, because 80% of Georgian murderers escape after 20 years,” said Louis Melendi. Melendi’s family tried to put Hinton in jail, and the decision was made by a review committee by a majority vote.

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