Man denies involvement in '84 disappearance of Colorado girl

Jennifer Mogensen
Posted at 12:07 PM, Oct 29, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-29 14:07:24-04

GREELEY, Colo. — A former longshot Idaho gubernatorial candidate on trial in the 1984 killing of a 12-year-old Colorado girl says he didn't know her or her family before she vanished and denied any involvement in her disappearance.

Steve Pankey was a neighbor of Jonelle Matthew and her family at the time. Pankey was charged last year with Jonelle’s murder after showing extreme interest in the case for many years and allegedly sharing details that hadn't been made public.

Pankey testified Thursday that he pretended to know information about the case out of bitterness for police and for his former church and employer.