Former Idaho governor candidate investigated in 1984 killing

Posted at 11:23 AM, Sep 13, 2019
and last updated 2019-09-13 18:25:15-04

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — A former candidate for Idaho governor says he’s under investigation in connection with the 1984 killing of a 12-year-old Colorado girl.

Steve Pankey, who ran as a Constitution Party candidate for governor in 2014 and again as a Republican in the 2018 primary, told the Idaho Statesman this week that he’s under investigation in the death of Jonelle Matthews, a Greeley girl who was reported missing on Dec. 20, 1984.

Pankey says he talked to the newspaper because he wants to be transparent. He says he’s given law enforcement his DNA and offered to take a polygraph test, and was shocked when authorities searched his Twin Falls, Idaho home last week.

Matthews’ remains were found by a construction crew earlier this summer in a rural part of Weld County, Colorado.

The Greeley Police Department said in a prepared statement Friday that law enforcement officers have never made a request to obtain Pankey’s DNA. The department says Pankey remains a person of interest in the investigation.

Photo courtesy: Steve Pankey for Governor