QuincyHansen via Wikimedia Commons

Twelve-year-old Jonelle Matthews went missing on December 20, 1984. Her remains went undiscovered for more than 35 years. Last July, decades after the case had gone cold, pipeline construction workers uncovered her body outside Greeley, Colorado. The cause of death was a single gunshot wound to the head.

Now, Weld County District Attorney Michael Rourke has indicted two-time Idaho gubernatorial candidate, Steven D. Pankey, for Jonelle’s abduction and murder. Pankey, 69, was a youth pastor at the church the Matthews attended in Greeley. 

Fox News’ Stephanie Pagones has more:

In the decades since Pankey lived in Colorado, he has run as a Constitution Party candidate for Idaho governor in 2014 and in the Republican primary in 2018. It’s the same year authorities said he became a person of interest in the girl’s death.

Pankey previously told the Times-News in Twin Falls, Idaho, that he was being framed in the case. He said his family had few connections to Jonelle or her family.

The two families did worship at the same church in Greeley, and Pankey had made statements to police revealing “intimate knowledge about the commission of the crime” that was not public information, Rourke said.

Pankey had watched children from Jonelle’s middle school walk home, according to charging documents. In 2008, his former wife heard him say at his son’s funeral: “I hope God didn’t allow this to happen because of Jonelle Matthews,” prosecutors wrote.

Jonelle’s disappearance even came to the attention of then-President Ronald Reagan, whose administration launched a nationwide effort bringing awareness to missing children. Milk cartons across the country contained Jonelle’s picture at one point. All the while, her family continued their desperate search.

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Francesca Moore
Francesca Moore
9 days ago

Hang his As…Noone should touch, abuse or harm a baby, child
She was a Daughter and a child
No bond
No bail
Death Row
Hang him and everyone like his Evil Soul

mary
mary
8 days ago

No delays or appeals just kill the pervert and send him to Hell they are waiting for him.

Francesca Moore
Francesca Moore
9 days ago

In Congress there is A lot incl.men and women involved with Pizza Gate aka. Child Sex Trafficking

Yoi need to investigate DCF aka CPS

Eddie Price
Eddie Price
9 days ago

The only justice for this young girls family would be to put this guy to sleep forever. I would like to see him in prison for the rest of his days in solitary confinement with no contact with the outside world. Make that p r i c k suffer an eternity with no one else around

Kevin
Kevin
8 days ago
Reply to  Eddie Price

Add a picture of the victim on each wall, and the ceiling of his cell, to remind him of what he did, so he can dwell on it for the rest of his miserable existence.

Linda
Linda
7 days ago
Reply to  Eddie Price

He needs to be in prison where he will be given justice for life they will take care of him