GREELEY, Colo. (CBS4)– Closing arguments began Tuesday morning in the trial for Steve Pankey, accused of murdering Jonelle Matthews in December 1984. Last week Pankey took the stand in his own defense.
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Pankey has pleaded not guilty to kidnapping and murder.
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It was Dec. 20, 1984 when 12-year-old Jonelle Matthews sang in a concert and was dropped at home by a friend and the friend’s father. She was last seen at 8 p.m., entering the ranch-style home where she lived with her father, Jim; mother, Gloria; and sister. But when her father returned from her sister’s basketball game an hour later, Jonelle was gone.
Jonelle was considered missing until workers digging a pipeline in July 2019 discovered human remains matching her dental records in a rural area southeast of Greeley, a city about 50 miles north of Denver. Police then labeled her death a homicide. An autopsy report suggests she died of a gunshot wound to the head.MORE NEWS: Home Repair Groups Help Denver Family Keep Home For Holidays
Pankey was not a family friend of the Matthews family. However, he did attend the same church and was part of the same social circles as the family.