Asked if Luis wanted death for Hinton, he says no. "I want him to just live 110 years, and let him suffer with whatever happens in prison, which is, I'm sure, not a very nice place to be in."
But the Melendis remain haunted by not knowing what had happened to Shannon. They fear that Butch Hinton might take that information to his grave.
Then, ten months after his trial, only a few weeks ago, DeKalb County officials reveal that Hinton had just made a shocking confession.
"At approximately 11:00am today, Shannon Melendi's convicted killer, Colvin Butch Hinton, met with his attorneys and members of law enforcement and announced that he in fact is Shannon Melendi's killer," District Attorney Gwen Keyes Fleming announced.
Hinton not only admitted that he kidnapped and killed Shannon in 1994, he described how he murdered her.
"He ultimately strangled her early that morning," the district attorney said.
And Hinton revealed for the first time what he did with her body.
"He disposed of her body by burning it in one several firepits in his backyard. Based on his statement, I think it is pretty clear - he is a murderous predator," Fleming added.
Butch Hinton claims he confessed because the crime had been eating away at him.
"This man is a psychopath and a liar," says Shannon's father Luis.
He doesn't believe Hinton's confession is a matter of conscience. "He did this because he has no other cards to play," he says.
And Luis Melendi thinks the admission is just a ploy to gain favor when Hinton comes up for parole.
Although the Melendis have had their lives torn apart their hoping their family's loss is the community's gain.
They are now setting their sights on a new mission: to toughen the laws and lengthen the prison sentences for sexual predators like Butch Hinton.
Pushing for tougher sentences is their way of trying to honor Shannon's memory.
"Sometimes it's very difficult to remember how happy we were before. People say, 'Where do you go from here?' I'm thinking to recapture some of that happiness," says Yvonne.
"I live because I have to," says Luis. "But as far as the joy of living that I used to have, I think I'm going to have to work real hard to get that - some semblance of getting that back."
"Shannon was going to be something," Luis adds. "We'll carry missing Shannon in our hearts forever. It will never go away."
Butch Hinton is eligible for parole in 2011. So far, police have not found Shannon Melendi's remains.