Donnisha Hill's father reacts to death of daughter's killer - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Donnisha Hill's father reacts to death of daughter's killer

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When Adonnis Hill thinks of his daughter's murder, he thinks of what he lost.

“He took everything away that would have been,” he said. “First, as a parent, celebrating a child's life, he stripped us of that. That's the first time the family had encountered something so terrible.”

But with the loss of his daughter, 13-year-old Donnisha, he also thinks about what he's found.

“I hear David Damm and I think, ‘Eight years ago that man changed my life,'” Hill said. “But I forgave him eight years ago.

That forgiveness didn't come easily.

“You just try to keep a forgiving spirit and stay in a forgiving state of mind,” Hill said.

Damm, 67, was serving a life sentence at Pontiac Correctional Center in Illinois. He was convicted of contracting another man, Bruce Burt, to kill Donnisha after he found out he was under investigation for sexually abusing her. Donnisha got off a First Student bus at the wrong stop one day in 2006, and was abducted. Her body was later found in Illinois.

Damm died early Monday morning at St. Francis Hospital in Peoria. He had chronic health issues, and had been admitted a few days prior. Burt is still serving a life sentence in a maximum security facility, according to a spokesperson for the Department of Corrections.

Damm's son and wife told us they don't support what he did, but will mourn him anyway. They chose not to comment further out of respect for the Hill family.

“I didn't feel any ill feeling toward him,” Adonnis said of Damm. “If I did, it would have been then, not now.”

He said the death does close a chapter in his life, if only partially.

“Every holiday, every anniversary that comes around, it always resurfaces, you know?” he said of his daughter's death. “You just find ways to deal with the stress and the disappointments. It was a blow to the family. You just find ways to deal with it.”

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