Time hasn't eased the suffering for family and friends of Nancy Shoemaker, who was 9 years old when she was abducted from a south Wichita street and murdered in 1990.
They offered tearful, impassioned testimony of their pain and why Donald Wacker should remain in prison to two members of the Kansas Parole Board during a public comment session today.
Wacker, now 46, was convicted of helping Doil Lane kidnap Nancy on July 30, 1999, then driving her to Sumner County, where Lane raped and strangled her.
Lane, now 49, was convicted and sentenced to life without parole for 66 years. He is serving a life sentence in Texas for a similar crime there.
Susan Canoll, Nancy's biological mother, spoke to the parole board for the first time, saying the emotional toll of her daughter's abduction and murder has been so intense she suffered a heart attack in 2003 even though she had no risk factors for one.
Wacker, she said, robbed her and other family members of the woman Nancy would have become, and "the memories to enjoy with Nancy."
She continues to think of Nancy every day, she said.
Bo Shoemaker, Nancy's father, asked parole board members where Wacker would live if he were to be paroled.
If he were allowed to live with his parents in Wichita, Shoemaker said, Wacker would be within 2 1/2 miles of about 20 schools, day care centers and other places where children are present on a daily basis.
Keeping Wacker in prison isn't just about Nancy, it's about protecting other children, Shoemaker said.
Sedgwick County District Attorney Nola Foulston also spoke to board members, urging them to keep Wacker in prison. Even if he's been a model prisoner, she said, that doesn't mean he wouldn't act out again upon his release.
After all, she said, there are no little girls in prison with him.
Wacker's parents also spoke to the parole board, their tones hushed.
Under Kansas law, the parole board could order him held for another one to five years.
For more on this story, see Tuesday's Eagle.