Disclaimer: This article contains mentions of rape and murder. Reader discretion is advised.

The upcoming episode of Dateline NBC will look into Shannon Melendi’s murder case and her killer Colvin “Butch” Hinton. Melendi was a university student when she went missing three decades ago. The upcoming episode “Shannon’s Story” will air on Saturday, May 25, 2024, at 10 p.m. ET. The synopsis reads, “A college student goes missing in broad daylight from her off-campus job. As police begin to investigate, they receive a mysterious phone call.”

According to NBC News, Shannon Melendi was a student at Emory University at the time of her disappearance in 1994. She worked part-time, taking scores during a softball game in Atlanta on March 26. The umpire of the match, Butch Hinton, had asked her to lunch that day. Later, Hinton kidnapped her and took her to his home, where he murdered the 19-year-old. However, authorities arrested Hinton after a decade in 2004.

In 2005, Hinton stood trial in Melendi’s murder case, which resulted in a conviction. He became the first defendant in Georgia’s history to be convicted in a case without the victim’s body or a crime scene, per ABC News. He later confessed to the crime while serving a life sentence in prison.

According to the Georgia Department of Corrections, Shannon Melendi’s killer Butch Hinton is serving his sentence in the Hays State Prison.

Shannon Melendi’s killer: When does Colvin “Butch” Hinton become eligible for parole?

NBC Miami stated that over the years, Shannon Melendi’s killer has become eligible for parole several times. The first time Colvin “Butch” Hinton became eligible for parole was in 2012 and most recently in 2020. Each time, the parole board has denied him parole. Hinton’s next parole consideration is in 2025. For now, he continues to serve life in prison.

Melendi’s family has been fighting to keep Hinton behind bars. Her father Luis Melendi said, “We have to keep this man in jail, in prison, we can’t let him come out.” Luis fears he might “do what he did to Shannon” again, implying that his daughter’s “death would be in vain.”

According to CBS News, Melendi’s sister Monique Benton remembers Hinton as the victim’s “friendly” co-worker. Monique claimed,” He was charming…you know what else he was? He was a convicted sexual predator, who 12 years earlier had raped a 14-year-old girl.”

Reportedly, Shannon Melendi was only 19, studying at Emory University, when she disappeared. On March 26, 1994, Melendi was working part-time at the Softball Country Club, taking down scores for a game. She left for her lunch break and never returned. The missing case prompted a widespread search, and authorities only arrested the killer a decade later in 2004.

Per ABC News, Shannon Melendi’s killer Butch Hinton was convicted despite a failure to find her body. In 2006, while serving his sentence, Hinton confessed to the murder, admitting that he kidnapped the 19-year-old on March 26, 1994. He admitted to raping and then strangling Melendi in his house with a necktie while she was handcuffed to a bedpost. Later, he claimed that he burned her body in his backyard.

Dateline NBC‘s episode on Shannon Melendi’s murder case airs on Saturday, May 25, 2024, at 10 p.m. ET.

Nikita Mahato

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Where Is Shannon Melendi’s Killer Colvin “Butch” Hinton Now?