Shannon Melendi’s Disappearance

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Jacob Byrom, Staff Writer

The case of 19 year old Shannon Melendi has always been a mystery.   

Shannon Melendi was born in 1974 in Miami, Florida. At the time of her disappearance, she was 19. Melendi went to Emory University and worked part time at a softball country club. It was a Saturday, when she was keeping score for a game that was taking place in Atlanta. She loved her job and school, her job gave her extra money and time to talk to her friends. It was during her break when Melendi decided she wanted to get a soda; like she always did. So she got into her black Nissan 240 SX car at 12:50 pm. However, she never returned and that was the last time anyone saw Melendi. 

Melendi was reported missing after a short amount of time, the police and some people thought she had run away. However, her friends and family said otherwise knowing that she was fine and nothing wrong was going on. So Melendi’s friends and family decided to put up missing posters and try to find her themselves. The next day, her car was found with the ignition still on. Melendi’s parents had bought her that car, and she loved it. She took very good care of that car; however, when it was found it was crooked in a parking spot in a gas station. The doors were unlocked. An employee working there said they saw Melendi before she went missing. 

The police still said that Melendi ran away, so Melendi’s roommate got the car and the investigation was closed for a short time. Three days later, a man called the police station saying that Melendi’s shorts were blue, not green. The media said they were green, then the man said that he “got” Melendi and would “keep her” until he was through with her. In early April, the same man called the Emory University Counseling Center stating that he has Shannon and her ring. The call was traced and a little while later the police went to the location near a restaurant. Her ring was found in a cloth bag wrapped in masking tape. The bag was then traced back to the people who made it, the bag and tape were then traced back to Delta. 

However after all this evidence Melendi was never found for a few years, her family knew who it was and the police finally came to the same conclusion. A former prisoner Colvin Butch Hinton the Third was the man who had done it. He was previously in jail because he set his own home on fire to collect insurance money, he was then charged with arson and mail fraud. When Melendi disappeared, he was working as an umpire at the same country club. He was also working at Delta. He said he had no involvement in Shannon’s disappearance, but the police thought otherwise. Butch was a convicted sex offender, assaulting his former employer and brother’s ex girlfriend. Even though Melendi’s body had not been found, there was still strong evidence against him. A number of other workers said that Butch was not doing his job that day and was only interested in Melendi. Butch then made “arrangements” to call in sick and meet up with Melendi. So Butch asked her if she could pick him up because his foot had gotten hurt recently, but use his car. When Butch got into the car, he pulled a knife to her throat and threatened her to drive to his home where he proceeded to rape and strangle her to death. He was then seen by witnesses burning something in his backyard and borrowing a bone saw from his dad. However, he did not tell them where he buried her body. One place that police looked for her was near an unfinished Northgate Middle School located in Newnan, Georgia where the football field would be located shortly after construction. Her body was not found and would remain missing till this day. Butch was sent to jail for life, but he was eligible for parole in seven years. Melendi was also the first Georgia murder case without a body being found.