BOISE — A former candidate for Idaho governor says he's under investigation in connection with the 1984 killing of a 12-year-old Colorado girl.

Steve Pankey, who ran as a Constitution Party candidate for governor in 2014 and again as a Republican in the 2018 primary, told the Idaho Statesman this week that he's under investigation in the death of Jonelle Matthews, a Greeley girl who was reported missing on Dec. 20, 1984.

Pankey said he talked to the newspaper because he wants to be transparent. He said he gave law enforcement his DNA and offered to take a polygraph test, and was shocked when, a month later, authorities searched his Twin Falls, Idaho, home last week.

Pankey said he was not in Colorado when he first heard Matthews was missing.

Matthews' remains were found by a construction crew earlier this summer in a rural part of Weld County, Colorado. Local police said at the time they were treating the site as a homicide investigation.

Matthews was last seen following a choir concert when a friend's father dropped her off at her home. When Matthews' father arrived home later that evening, the house was empty.

Betsy Z. Russell is the Boise bureau chief and state capitol reporter for the Idaho Press and Adams Publishing Group. Follow her on Twitter at @BetsyZRussell.