Former candidate for Idaho governor charged with killing Colorado girl in 1984

Former candidate for Idaho governor charged with killing Colorado girl in 1984


An Idaho man who twice unsuccessfully ran for governor has been charged with murdering a 12-year-old Colorado girl who disappeared more than 35 years ago, authorities said.

Steven Dana Pankey, 69, of Meridian, was arrested Monday on charges of first-degree murder, second-degree kidnapping and related counts in the death of Jonelle Matthews, his former neighbor in Greeley, who vanished from her home on December 20, 1984, Weld County District Attorney Michael Rourke announced Tuesday.

Court documents obtained by CNN show Pankey had lived roughly two miles away from Jonelle’s home when she disappeared and about 10 miles away from where her body was found in July 2019 in a desolate field southeast of Greeley.

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The girl’s cause of death was a gunshot wound to the head, police said, and she was the victim of a homicide.

Rourke told CNN there’s “no definitive” DNA link between the girl’s remains and Pankey, who “watched school children walk home” from where Jonelle

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