Skip to contents
Crime and Courts

Greeley police say remains found at oil and gas site belong to a girl missing since 1984

No one was ever arrested following Jonelle Matthews disappearance on Dec. 20, 1984

Oilfield workers discovered bones in rural Weld County northwest of CR 34.5 and CR 49. Authorities are investigating the scene, pictured here Wednesday morning July 24, 2019. (Michael Brian, The Greeley Tribune)

The remains of a 12-year-old girl who disappeared in 1984 after performing at a Christmas holiday concert have been found by construction workers in Colorado, police said Thursday.

Greeley police Sgt. Joe Tymkovich said the remains were identified as those of Jonelle Matthews, who was last seen being dropped off at her home by a friend and a friend’s father, The Greeley Tribune reported .

No one was ever arrested following her disappearance on Dec. 20, 1984. Jonelle had performed with a middle school honor choir shortly before she disappeared, authorities said.

The Tribune reported Wednesday that workers were constructing a new pipeline in rural Weld County when they discovered bones Tuesday night. Weld County Sheriff Steve Reams said his deputies were treating the recovery of the remains as a homicide investigation.

Tymkovich did not immediately return telephone calls and it was not clear how authorities were able to identify the remains as those of the young girl so quickly.

“We’re still chasing down leads,” Tymkovich told the newspaper of the investigation into the girl’s disappearance and death.


We believe vital information needs to be seen by the people impacted, whether it’s a public health crisis, investigative reporting or keeping lawmakers accountable. This reporting depends on support from readers like you.