It’s been almost 30 years since he said he murdered 16-year-old Christie Montrella.
Now Donato Lombardozzi is asking for parole.
And just like the last time, thousands are already signing a petition to keep him behind bars.
10 years ago, the first parole Lombardozzi requested was denied.
He had to wait 10 more years before he could ask again. And here we are.
But again a collective voice is gaining momentum and growing louder because it was a heinous 1988 murder that crushed an entire community.
One that 30 years can't erase.
Christie Montrella’s body was found in a wooded area in Willoughby in October 1988. It’s a name that's near and dear to so many hearts in Willoughby. The Montrella family, they STILL hold close.
“They want to remain private and quiet, but for God’s sake they lost their daughter!” and that’s why Willoughby Police Det. Lt. Jim Schultz says they speaking up for the Montrellas. Again.
Donato Lombardozzi, the then-27-year-old in 1988, pled guilty to strangling and stabbing Christine Montrella.
He could have gotten the death penalty without that plea.
20-years-to-life would have to do for the Montrellas, who would live a lifetime without Christie.
Now for the second time Lombardozzi is asking to get out for good behavior.
"What happened October 1988, was that good behavior? He did what he did and it was the absolute worst that you could do to a person. This guy needs to stay in jail," said Schultz.
Schultz, a father himself, is part of the power behind another petition drive. 10 years ago, they ended up with 13,000 signatures.
Again, an extended community is signing a petition to stand up for a family who feels like victims again.
"At this moment we have more than 7,000 signatures on it," says Schultz.
Even after the Montrellas had so much TAKEN. The family started GIVING GIFTS in Christie's name.
29 college scholarships have been given so far to Willoughby South High School students.
“Her memory continues at her school. The Montrells have given back to the community that has helped them out so dearly in the past," says Schultz.
So the memory of their Christie lives on through the 29 kids the Montrellas have helped put through college in her name.