Parole pushback for Nancy Shoemaker's kidnapper

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Nancy Shoemaker Nancy Shoemaker

Donald Wacker, a man convicted of kidnapping Nancy Shoemaker in Wichita almost thirty years ago is up for parole again. 

The Shoemaker family lives hundreds of miles away in Florida now, but they are still fighting to keep their daughter's legacy alive and the people of Wichita safe.

"She was Wichita's little girl. It was on the news all the time. If you lived here in 1990, everyone knew who she was because it was an all out search," says Peggy O'Donnell, a lifelong friend of the Shoemakers.

It's a story that's made its way into the hearts and homes of people across the country. On a hot summer day in Wichita 28 years ago, nine-year-old Nancy Shoemaker would walk out of her front door for the very last time. 

"Everyday you're thinking, this is the day...she's coming home, and she never did," says Nancy's dad, Bo Shoemaker. 

Her parents, Bo and Julie, still remember the agonizing months spent waiting for any news about their little girl. Finally, seven months later, her remains were found. Peggy O'Donnell, a lifelong friend of the Shoemakers was one of the first to hear the news. 

"It was a Wednesday night. I'll never forget...They said they found the remains of Nancy Shoemaker. To this day, it makes me cry," says O'Donnell.

It was later discovered that Nancy was kidnapped. raped and murdered. Donald Wacker was convicted of kidnapping Nancy and aiding in her murder.

Now 56-years-old, Wacker is again up for parole.

"If another child was taken and had to go through all that...what we went through. We don't want that," says Julie Shoemaker, Nancy's mom.

O'Donnell and her husband, Mike, still stand by the Shoemakers and want nothing more than to see Wacker stay behind bars. 

"People like that are broken...We need to protect our community," says Mike O'Donnell.

He was last up for parole in 2017. It was denied after more than 10,000 people signed petitions to keep him off the streets. Again, Nancy's family hopes for more signatures. 

A 24/7 station has been set up in Grace Baptist Church for the public to sign the petition. The church is located in Wichita at 1414 W Pawnee St. 

Wacker's parole hearing is set for October 16th in Derby and the community is welcome.