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.
Details of Disappearance
Jonelle was dropped off by friends at her family's residence 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 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 spoke to an acquaintance of her father on the phone.
Jonelle's father, Jim Matthews, arrived at the house at approximately 9:30 p.m. and discovered she had disappeared. Jonelle's stockings and shoes were on the floor and the television and lights were turned on. She had also taken a phone message for another family member. The garage door was discovered open and investigators located footprints inside the garage and around the back of the family's home. 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 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.
Media reports stated that several investigators theorized that Jonelle was sexually assaulted inside her residence on the evening of her 1984 disappearance. They believed that 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 Charley Project
If you have any information concerning this case, please contact:
Greeley Police Department