BUTLER COUNTY, Ohio (FOX19) - A convicted murderer who has been in prison for more than three decades could soon get the chance to walk free, but not if the victim’s family has anything to say about it.
The murder of Kerri Hintermeister shocked the Hamilton community 36 years ago. It left Hintermeister’s family brokenhearted.
“She’s a part of our life that’s missing, and there’s no way to get that back," Gloria Loveland, Hintermeister’s aunt, said. “It has fractured us, and those kinds of wounds, they heal, but there are scars.”
Hintermeister was just 11 when she was killed in March 1984. According to investigators, she was playing with Bradford Gill’s daughters at his home on Meadow Drive in Hamilton when she disappeared.
As Hintermeister’s family looked for her, Gill helped them, even though he already knew exactly where Hintermeister was because he had taken her life.
“The following day, after he had stuffed her in a cabinet in his garage and tried to conceal her body, he spent that day searching for her with my dad in a field across the street," Loveland said.
Loveland believes that Hintermeister found out that Gill was sexually abusing several children and confronted him, so he stabbed her to death to silence her.
“Kerri, being very bold and outspoken as she was, went into the garage to confront him because she was ‘going to tell her daddy,’ and she never came out,” Loveland said.
Gill is currently in prison, where he has been for more than 30 years for aggravated murder. Hintermeister’s family members want him to stay there for the rest of his life, but Gill has a chance to get out. He has a parole hearing this month.
“To be affected by a violent crime, it’s earth shattering, and it’s life-changing, and it happens to good people, and good people need to be protected from people like him,” Loveland said.
Although records show that Hintermeister was sexually assaulted the day she died, Gill is not listed as a sex offender. Loveland says she fears if Gill is released, it could put children in danger.
“He doesn’t deserve to walk free, you know, he took a life, and it wasn’t an accident," Loveland said. "It was a malicious act, and he does not deserve to breathe free air. He deserves to stay behind bars.”
The Butler County Prosecutor’s Office tried to have Gill ruled a sex offender, but it has not happened.
The parole hearing is expected to take place Oct. 26 or 27.
Hintermeister’s family members are asking anyone who is against Gill being released to sign an online petition and/or write to the parole board.
Per the Ohio Department of Corrections: “Persons wishing to submit a written statement concerning this hearing may send such statement to the Ohio Parole Board, Department of Rehabilitation and Correction, 4545 Fisher Road, Suite D, Columbus, OH 43228. Please include the offender’s name and number on any correspondence.”
Gill’s number is A179933.