Former candidate for Idaho governor under investigation in cold-case killing of Colorado girl


A former candidate for Idaho governor told the Idaho Statesman he is under investigation in the cold-case killing of a 12-year-old girl in Colorado 35 years ago.

Authorities last week searched the Twin Falls home of Steve Pankey, serving him a warrant that said investigators had probable cause to believe he kidnapped and killed Jonelle Matthews in 1984.

The Idaho Statesman reports, Jonelle was reported missing from her home in Greeley, in December of 1984. At the time, Pankey and his former wife lived in Colorado — about 2 miles away.

Pankey, a 2014 Constitution Party candidate for governor who also ran in the 2018 Republican primary, disclosed the investigation this week in interviews with the Idaho Statesman. The search, Pankey said, came about a month after he gave police a DNA sample.

A construction crew found remains of the girl while excavating in rural Weld County. Once her remains were identified, the police department issued a news release saying that the case was now a homicide investigation.


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