GRANGEVILLE — A forensic examination of the remains of a 25-year-old Grangeville woman who went missing in April 2018 has been completed by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
Shawnta L. Pankey was last seen near Pine Bar, about 20 miles south of Cottonwood along the Salmon River. A skull and other unidentified bones that were later confirmed to be Pankey’s were recovered May 5, 2019, near Buffalo Eddy on the Snake River.
The Idaho County Sheriff’s Office has been investigating the case, but the forensic examination took place in Quantico, Va., at the FBI laboratory.
According to a news release distributed by the Idaho County Sheriff’s Office on Tuesday, neither the sheriff’s office nor Nez Perce County Coroner Joshua Hall will release further information about the case at this time. Hall conducted the initial autopsy because Pankey’s remains were found in Nez Perce County.
Idaho County Sheriff Doug Giddings said Tuesday his office is not releasing further information because the investigation is ongoing. Detectives have been exploring a number of leads and, at this point, “anything’s possible,” Giddings said.
Earlier, the sheriff’s office said it was looking at Pankey’s boyfriend, Edward M. Mills, of Grangeville, as a person of interest. Pankey and Mills had been camping at Pine Bar on April 15 when the couple got into an argument, Mills told investigators, and she left on foot. Mills was the last known person to have seen Pankey alive, although there was another report investigators deemed credible at the time of a family spotting a woman who may have matched Pankey’s description hiking in the area.
Giddings would not comment on whether Mills is still under consideration.
Pankey’s remains are expected to be released to her family in the next few weeks, according to the news release.
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