Missing person searches go cold; Pankey, Selway River four still unfound

Shawnta Pankey

Two separate private searches for missing people continued into June in Idaho County: One following the Salmon River (Pine Bar) disappearance of Grangeville’s Shawnta LaRae Pankey last month, the other originating from the Selway River pickup crash in which six out-of-state men were caught up earlier this month.

But there’s nowhere left to look but to the rivers, Idaho County Sheriff Doug Giddings told the Free Press May 30.

“After this many days, we are making that assumption,” Giddings said. “We’re waiting for the rivers to spit them out. Someone will call us, and we’ll go get them.”

ICSO’s efforts in the Selway ended last month.

“There’s nowhere to look,” Giddings said. “Where do you look?”

Two of those caught up in a May 21 hunting expedition accident – in which a Chevrolet Suburban plunged from a narrow dirt road into freezing water – have reportedly returned to Georgia. Still missing are Koby J. Clark of Montana, Reece L. Rollins of Oregon and brother Raymond P. and Jesse A. Ferrieri of New York. The Missoulian reported Giddings called off ICSO’s search May 29.

The Rollins family’s private search ended this week.

Rollins family members presented their point of view in a Facebook group live video Monday night, June 4: “We never ever planned on leaving that way, without him. But I think we were stuck. We were completely at a dead end and it wasn’t because of the rough water, it wasn’t because of the steep mountains, it wasn’t because of the rugged country, it was because we couldn’t get the help that we needed that we had engaged to be there because it kept getting shot down by the Sheriff. So we had no choice but to come home and regroup. … I had made the comment I was not leaving there until my feet hit the other side of that river,” Rollins dad, Albert, said on the video. “We accomplished that. Do I feel we did absolutely everything in our power? I feel we did as much as we could do.”

Pankey, last seen on foot April 15, hasn’t been heard from since she walked away from a disagreement with a boyfriend, with whom she was camping last month. A foot search by ICSO and family members found no sign, but private efforts including a Boise-based PI’s aerial search continued last week. Private investigator Daniel Landis was flown by Idaho County Commissioner Skip Brandt over areas including Rice Creek and Joseph Plains on May 26.

“We have been in contact with Idaho County Sheriff and plan on speaking with them…to discuss and share all of our leads in order to find the next appropriate course of action,” Landis wrote in a May 27 social media post. “We believe that with the collaboration of the ICSO we can achieve the best results by combining all our leads and efforts. Indeed it has been some time since Shawnta went missing but in no way does that mean we stop searching for Shawnta or for answers. I would imagine that we all would want the same for ourselves or our loved ones.”

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