Shannon Melendi Wiki
Shannon Melendi Biography
Shannon Melendi, a 19-year-old college student, was scoring points in a softball game in Atlanta on a Saturday afternoon in March 1994 when she disappeared. The Miami native was abducted, raped and murdered by Colvin “Butch” Hinton III, a convicted sex offender who had been working as a referee on the softball field the day Melendi was taken away, WKYC reported.
Although authorities focused their efforts on Hinton early in the investigation, it was not until 10 years later that he was charged with his murder and 12 years later that he was found guilty. To this day, Melendi’s remains have never been found and Hinton is the only person in Georgia state history to be convicted of murder without a crime scene or body, the Miami Herald wrote.
At the time of Melendi’s murder, Hinton was already a convicted sex offender, having been convicted of the kidnapping and rape of a 14-year-old girl in the 1980s, the Miami Herald reported. The Sun-Sentinel wrote that he had been sentenced to four years in prison in 1982 for that crime, but was released after less than two years.
Melendi Was a Sophomore at Emory University & Had Dreams of Serving Her Country & Studying Law
Melendi was born on October 20, 1974, and her parents raised her with her younger sister Monique in Miami. She was a huge achiever in high school, attending Southwest High School in Dade County, Florida. She was heavily involved in the school, she became the president of its junior and senior classes, the captain of the debate team and played soccer, WKYC reported.
Her mother told the outlet: “She wanted to join the Navy in the JAG Corps and her whole plan was to go to Washington. She had a dream of being on the Supreme Court. And I have no doubt she could have pulled it off. “At the time of her disappearance, the Emory University sophomore, whose goal was to practice law, was working part-time on a softball field in Atlanta as a scorer. .
On March 26, 1994, Melendi left the softball field in her car and was not seen again. The next day, her car was found at a nearby gas station, unlocked and with the keys in the ignition, the Miami Herald wrote.
Hinton Was Convicted of Arson After He Set His House on Fire in 1995 & Investigators Believed He Was Trying to Destroy Evidence
While investigators tracked down Melendi as a missing person, the case changed to kidnapped after someone called her hotline and said they had Melendi, WKYC wrote. Authorities traced the call to a phone booth and found a piece of Melendi jewelry inside that the caller had left. The taped bag was analyzed and traced back to Hinton’s work working with airplanes at Delta Airlines.
Hinton was identified as the last person to see Melendi alive, the outlet reported, as authorities discovered that he had been working as a referee on the softball field on the same day that Melendi disappeared. According to some reports, Hinton had been reprimanded in 1994 by the management of the softball club for flirting with Melendi during games.
Hinton denied his involvement in Melendi’s disappearance, but around the same time, his house caught fire, WKYC wrote. In 1995, he was convicted of arson and insurance fraud and sentenced to federal prison for seven years.
Investigators believed he was trying to get rid of the evidence and searched his home and backyard, and found evidence that could be related to other crimes, such as a collection of women’s sweaters buried in his yard, but no trace of the body. by Melendi. Despite the lack of a crime scene or body, prosecutors decided to charge Hinton with murder.
Hinton Confessed to Her Murder After He Was Already Convicted & Exhausted His Appeals
Hinton was found guilty of Melendi’s murder in 2005, but it wasn’t until all of his appeals were exhausted that he confessed to the crime. John Petrey of the DeKalb County district attorney’s office, one of the top prosecutors, said Hinton confessed to abducting Melendi and raping her before killing her and burning the body in his backyard when his wife was out of town, WKYC wrote.
The day he kidnapped her, he “raped her, left her tied up,” Petrey said. “I went to see a movie with, I think, some nieces and nephews … he came back, checked her again, gave her a glass of water, raped her again, strangled her and killed her.” He said he was a “coward” and collected the ashes in a bag which he dumped in a ditch near the train tracks.