GREELEY, Colo. (CBS4) — Her sister was just 12 years old when she disappeared from the family home in Greeley. That was 1984. Now, after 34 years, Jonelle Matthews’ family has some closure. But they still have questions.

Jonelle Matthews (credit: CBS)

Jonelle disappeared on Dec. 20, 1984. A friend had dropped her off after they performed in the school Christmas concert.

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Investigators believe she was there for about 30 minutes before she disappeared.


Despite large searches at the time, the family didn’t get any answers — until this week. Jonelle’s remains were found at a construction site in Weld County, about 20 miles from her old home.


“It’s sad, but for the most part it’s bittersweet because we get closure and that’s what we’ve been looking for 34 years,” Jonelle’s sister, Jennifer Mogensen, said Thursday night.

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‘They Actually Finally Found Her’: Jonelle Matthews Found After Disappearing In 1984

Mogensen said her parents are processing the new information about the decades-old mystery.

“I think they’re sad, they’re numb,” she said. “Closure is nice, but then I think maybe this also opens up some other questions… and then wondering about her final few hours or minutes of life. It’s just sad.”


Mogensen said the family is hopeful advances in technology will help them learn more about Jonelle’s death.

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Greeley police have not said what this might mean for the investigation and the search for a suspect.