GRANGEVILLE — The family of Shawnta L. Pankey, who has been missing since April 15, is offering a $3,500 reward for information about her disappearance.
The family is offering an additional $3,500 if foul play was involved and if the information leads to the arrest and conviction of those responsible.
The last known sighting of Pankey was April 15, when she and her boyfriend, Edward M. Mills, 25, of Grangeville, reportedly were camped at Pine Bar along the Salmon River south of Cottonwood, according to information given to the sheriff’s office by Mills.
Mills told authorities the couple had an argument and Pankey took off on foot. She was reported missing the next day by her mother after she had failed to pick up her child.
Since then, the Idaho County Sheriff’s Office has conducted a number of intensive searches and followed a couple of leads, including a report considered credible from a man who said he saw a woman matching Pankey’s description walking on the road near Rice Creek.
But so far, detectives have been unable to find a trace of the missing woman.
Mills is considered a person of interest, Idaho County Sheriff’s Detective Jerry Johnson said. Neither Johnson nor Pankey’s family believe she intentionally went missing, he said.
Mills had agreed earlier to a polygraph test, Johnson said, but he failed to show up for the appointment and has since been uncooperative with the investigation.
Johnson said he and other detectives continue to work on the case consistently and still have tips or leads coming in on a regular basis.
“We’ve done a few limited searches along the river and we’re continuing to chip away, but there’s nothing significant that leads us any closer to where Shawnta is,” Johnson said Tuesday.
Johnson said an independent search in mid-May by Daniel Landis of D.L. Investigating, a private firm hired by Pankey’s family, recovered a hairbrush at the top of the Rice Creek Grade near the junction of Joseph Road and Boles Road.
He said he is not aware whether the family has conducted more private searches since then, but he made a map of the area to assist them in knowing the terrain and property lines.
The Pankey family is asking that any information about Shawnta’s disappearance be communicated to the sheriff’s office at (208) 983-1100 or to Johnson by email at email@example.com or on the sheriff’s office Facebook page.
Hedberg may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or (208) 983-2326.