NEWAYGO, Mich. (WOOD) — Nearly 26 years after Shannon Siders disappeared after a night out with friends, two brothers have been found guilty of her murder.
“Everybody says closure. It’s not closure because it doesn’t bring Shannon back. Nothing brings Shannon back. It’s just the right thing. Shannon can finally rest in peace now, and family can go on. But it doesn’t really change anything except these guys are going to now pay for what they did 26 years ago,” said Bob Siders, Shannon’s dad.
A jury found both brothers guilty in Shannon’s murder. Matthew Jones was found guilty of first-degree murder, and Paul Jones was found guilty of second-degree murder.
“I used to go the cemetery almost every day. I don’t go up as often now. I’m never going to have any grandchildren. I should have possibly a great-grandchild by now, but that’s not going to happen. It changes it. It doesn’t get easier but it doesn’t get harder either,” Siders said in a Saturday interview.
The Jones brothers denied killing her in 1989 when police questioned them. They said they dropped her off at home.
“I don’t look for them to ever admit it. I don’t think either one of them have a conscience,” Siders said.
They were finally arrested in 2014.
“They’ve caused our family a lot of pain, and now they’re causing their family a lot of pain. But there are only two people to blame, and that’s Matt and Paul,” Siders said.
Pink ribbons adorn the trees and power poles of the street Shannon once called home. Pink roses were placed at her grave after the verdict came down Friday.
“Bottom line is it doesn’t bring Shannon back, it just brings justice,” Siders said.
Shannon went missing in July of 1989 when she didn’t come home from a party, she was missing for three months before her body was found in the Manistee National Forest.
The story of her disappearance dominated the headlines for months — much like they have recently for the disappearance of Jessica Heeringa, a family Siders says he has thought of often.
“I don’t want to have Jessica’s parents or the family lose hope, but I’m sure they know in their heart that Jessica is probably gone. Before Shannon was found, I assumed that because it was the only thing that was still logical,” he explained.
Heeringa was abducted from a Norton Shores Gas station in 2011. She is still missing.
Shannon’s body was found when a hunter came across the body in the forest. Her dad says he thought that might be how the Heeringa story played out.
“Whatever happened to Jessica, she is not in this area or she is buried. And that’s the one mistake the Jones boys made, they didn’t bury Shannon,” Siders said.
Siders says after the verdict came down, he along with friends and family went to Shannon’s final resting place where he buried his daughter.
“This isn’t a celebration. It’s not what it’s about. It’s not a funeral. She has had her funeral. This is just the fact that the right thing has happened. We finally got justice, and now Shannon can finally go home,” Siders said.
The Jones brothers are scheduled to be sentenced on June 16 in Newaygo County. Matt Jones’ conviction carries a mandatory sentence of life in prison. Paul’s conviction carries a sentence of up to life in prison.