The engagement began as notification more than proposal.
Samuel J. Siatta was an inmate in the Shawnee Correctional Center, a state penitentiary in southern Illinois, serving a six-year sentence for a home invasion in which he had struck another man with a frying pan. Ashley Volk was his off-again, on-again girlfriend since the sixth grade. It was early 2016. She had driven six hours to visit him between bartending shifts.