Man convicted in Donna Jou's death to be released from prison

John Burgess, the man convicted in the death of 19-year-old Donna Jou, will be released from prison Thursday.
Frustration and outrage, those words describe the parents of Donna Jou. The man convicted of involuntary manslaughter in her death is being released from prison in days.

Jou's parents, Nili and Reza Jou, say they feel like his victims once again.

"I'm so frustrated, so angry, so mad at the system," Nili said.

She is is angry, John Burgess, the man convicted of giving her 19-year-old daughter Donna the drugs and alcohol that led to her overdose in 2007, will be released from prison later this week.

In 2009, Burgess was sentenced to five years in prison for involuntary manslaughter. Burgess served two-and-a-half years and was released from prison. He was later arrested for violating his parole and sentenced to four years. He served two.

"You see me walking, talking, laughing and living, but it's not living," Nili said. "It's a miserable life not knowing what happened to Donna."

Donna met Burgess in June 2007 after she placed an ad offering math tutoring sessions on Craigslist.

Nili and Reza reported her missing.

Burgess, a convicted sex offender, admitted in court that after Donna had overdosed, he panicked and dumped her body in the ocean.

In a phone interview, Reza says Burgess' pending release is difficult to take.

"We've been victimized not only by Mr. Burgess but by our criminal system as well," Reza said.

Reza and Nili Jou say the California Department of Corrections hasn't told them where Burgess is going to be released. Nili says as soon as she finds out where Burgess is living, she plans on letting the neighborhood know about it.

"I will spread a flier to the neighborhood that says 'Watch out, there is a sex offender who did what to my daughter,'" Nili said.

The Department of Corrections says Burgess is set to be released on Thursday.

Nili says she still has hope her daughter will be found.

"I read these stories about people being found after so many years, and I'm just hoping, I'm one of those lucky ones," Nili said.

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