Steven Pankey Wiki Steven Pankey Biography
Steven Pankey was charged with the kidnapping and murder of Jonelle Matthews, who disappeared in December 1984, in Weld County, Colorado, District Attorney Michael Rourke said Tuesday.More than 35 years after the disappearance of a 12-year-old girl in Greeley, Colorado, a former Idaho gubernatorial candidate has been charged with death.
Steve Pankey Arrested in Murder Of Jonelle Matthews From Greeley
GREELEY, Colorado (CBS4) – Steve Pankey was arrested in 1984 for the murder of 12-year-old Jonelle Matthews of Greeley. His remains were found last year. Investigators made the announcement during a news conference Tuesday afternoon.
Steven Pankey murder Investigation
Investigators in the case had previously identified Pankey, a former Idaho gubernatorial candidate, as a person of interest in the case.
Pankey is now being held at the Ada County Jail in Idaho on a Colorado fugitive warrant, and appeared in court Tuesday afternoon.
Greeley Police Chief Mark Jones news conference
Greeley Police Chief Mark Jones said Tuesday’s press conference lasted 36 years.
“For more than three decades, the disappearance of Jonelle Matthews has left our community with many unanswered questions,” said Chief Jones. “Some of these questions are beginning to be answered. I am confident that this new development will help the Matthews family, their friends, and our community receive closure and a cure for this horrible crime. ”
We continue to seek justice for Jonelle and her family. We have never forgotten Jonelle and we never will, ”Jones said.
Read the arrest affidavit here.
In an interview in December 2019, Pankey told CBS4 reporter Kelly Wertmann that he had nothing to do with her death.
Pankey remains in custody
Matthews was last seen at her home in Greeley on December 20, 1984. Oil field workers found her remains on July 23, 2019 at an oil site in Weld County. In June, CBS4 and the Greeley Tribune submitted requests for copies of the autopsy report that was sealed by the Weld County Coroner’s Office. The county objected to the request, arguing it could compromise its investigation. District Court Judge Shannon Lyons approved a partial disclosure and ruled that details that could compromise the ongoing investigation would not be released while the investigation continues. The information written includes the cause and manner of death. However, the report claims that Matthews’ skeletal remains were laced with “abundant dirt and debris” when they were released to examiners. The skull and jaw were “practically intact.” Dental records helped investigators identify the remains as those of Matthews.