Details of Disappearance Jonelle was dropped off by friends at her family's residence in the 300 block of 43rd Avenue Court in Greeley, Colorado on December 20, 1984 at approximately 8:15 p.m. She was returning from a Christmas choral program at a nursing home, where she had sung with her middle school choir, and was to wait for the rest of her family to arrive at the home.
Her sixteen-year-old sister and her father, Jim Matthews, were at a basketball game and her mother, Gloria Matthews, was visiting relatives out of state. Jonelle was last heard from at 8:30 p.m., when she took a phone message from an acquaintance of her father.
Jim arrived at the house at approximately 9:30 p.m. and discovered she had disappeared. Jonelle's stockings, shoes, shawl, and a portable heater were on the floor and the television and lights were turned on. It is believed she was interrupted while watching television.
The garage door was discovered open and investigators located footprints inside the garage and around the back of the family's home, but there were no indications of a scuffle in the snow of the yard. Authorities suspect that an unknown intruder or intruders broke into the residence and abducted Jonelle that evening. She has never been seen again.
Jonelle's biological mother, Terri Vierra-Martinez, located the child's adoptive parents in 1997. Vierra-Martinez learned about Jonelle's disappearance at that time. She also discovered that law enforcement had kept her under surveillance for six weeks after Jonelle's 1984 abduction. Authorities were not permitted to give Vierra-Martinez any information concerning her daughter's case at the time due to adoption privacy laws.
Vierra-Martinez is not a suspect in Jonelle's disappearance. She has become friends with Jonelle's adoptive parents. Jim and Gloria believe that their daughter is deceased and have held a memorial service for her. They now live in the Philippines.
Police have stated they believe local people know more about Jonelle's disappearance than they have stated; they theorize that she was abducted by someone who knew her and lived in the community, and that possibly the perpetrator still lives in the area.
At the time of her disappearance, Jonelle attended Franklin Middle School and attended Sunny View Church of the Nazarene. Her case remains unsolved.
- Greeley Police Department
Updated 8 times since October 12, 2004. Last updated December 22, 2018; two pictures added, details of disappearance updated.