Jonelle Renee Matthews

1 2 AP
Left and Center: Jonelle, circa 1984;
Right: Age-progression to age 42 (circa 2014)


Vital Statistics at Time of Disappearance

  • Missing Since: December 20, 1984 from Greeley, Colorado
  • Classification: Non-Family Abduction
  • Date Of Birth: February 9, 1972
  • Age: 12 years old
  • Height and Weight: 5'3, 115 pounds
  • Distinguishing Characteristics: Caucasian female. Brown hair, brown eyes. Jonelle has a scar on her chin. She wore a full set of braces on her teeth at the time of her 1984 disappearance. Jonelle's ears are pierced. Some agencies may spell her first name "Janelle" or "Jonell" and her last name "Mathews," or give her age at the time of her disappearance as fourteen.
  • Clothing/Jewelry Description: A light blue ski jacket, a red blouse, a dark gray sweater vest, a charcoal gray skirt and house slippers.
  • Bar

    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 older 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.

    Jonelle's father, Jim Matthews, 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.

    Media reports stated several investigators theorized Jonelle was sexually assaulted inside her residence on the evening of her 1984 disappearance. They believed she may have been murdered by the unknown attacker(s) and her remains were incinerated to hide the crimes. Other investigators believed that Jonelle was abducted and taken elsewhere. Her case remains unsolved.


    Investigating Agency
    If you have any information concerning this case, please contact:
    Greeley Police Department


    Source Information
    The National Center For Missing and Exploited Children
    Child Protection Education Of America
    Christianity Today
    The Denver Post
    The Longmont Daily Times-Call
    The Child Seek Network
    The Greeley Tribune
    Families of Homicide Victims and Missing Persons


    Updated 5 times since October 12, 2004.

    Last updated March 2, 2014; age-progression updated.

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