Yesterday, Tuesday April 10th, Shannon Melendi's parents, Yvonne and Luis, received word from the Georgia Parole Board in Atlanta that their daughter's murderer has been denied his parole in his first hearing.
A very bright and promising young Southwest High School graduate, Shannon had gone on to Atlanta to continue her education at Emory University. In the spring of 1994, Shannon left for work early in the morning, working as a scorekeeper at a youth baseball game. Around 12 noon, she had disappeared. It was later discovered that Shannon had been kidnapped, raped and murdered. Unfortunately, this was only learned after an extensive FBI investigation and thorough forensic examination. In 2004 her kidnapper and murderer was arrested, and later convicted. It was not until AFTER going to prison that he confessed to his crimes, but to this day has yet to identify where he put her body -- Shannon's remains have never been found. Just 7 short years after being convicted of murder, Shannon's killer has already come up for a chance at parole. Many people in our South Florida community have been outwardly vocal in their opposition to his possibility of parole so early on in his sentence, and have been instrumental in ensuring that his parole appeal was denied.
The Melendi family would like to thank everyone who was praying for them and all who participated in persuading the parole board to "deny parole" to the murderer of their daughter Shannon. However, their quest is not over yet, as he will once again be eligible for parole in the near future.
Said Luis Melendi, Shannon's father: "We are very grateful to our Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen for spearheading the "petition to deny parole' letter writing campaign and to all those people all over the world who took the time to sign it. We really appreciate your prayers to keep us strong God bless you all."
Said Ros-Lehtinen: "This is tremendous news and a great day for justice for Shannon and her family. What this man has done to Shannon, her family and friends is unthinkable. There is absolutely no room in society for a man like this, let alone for him to be back on the streets - and especially not so soon after his incarceration. My thoughts and prayers will continue to be with the Melendi family as they continue to seek justice for their daughter, Shannon Melendi."