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A Day of Awareness: Matthew Broncho still missing

matthew broncho, 34, missing from Fort Hall
Fort Hall
Matthew Broncho, 34, went missing from Fort Hall on March 20, 2019. His case has gone cold.

FORT HALL, Idaho (KIFI) - More than two years later, Fort Hall man Matthew Broncho is still missing. He's one of countless missing Native Americans that have vanished without a trace across the nation.

May 5 is Missing and Murdered Indigenous Persons Awareness Day, a day to bring awareness to the unknown number of Native Americans who are missing or murdered in the United States.

An Associated Press investigation in 2018 found that nobody knows the actual number of cases of missing and murdered Native Americans nationwide because many go unreported, others aren’t well documented, and no government database tracks them. There are multiple open missing persons cases in Fort Hall.

“Every morning I wake up and that’s the first thing on my mind. Maybe he’s still out there,” said Cynthia Metz, Matthew's mother.

Metz and Jimmy Broncho, Matthew's father, have been searching for their son since he went missing from Fort Hall on March 20, 2019, when he was 34-year-old. Metz found Matthew's car abandoned in Snowville, Utah, a small town he had no apparent connection to. A few days later, authorities found Matthew's dog Afa in the area of the car, which Jimmy said was the last big break in his son's case.

Matthew's parents are desperate for answers that they say they aren't getting from investigators.

“We get very few answers. ‘We’re working on it, we don’t have any new leads.’ Maybe it’s because of Covid, I don’t know. They’re dealing with a small population in Snowville. There’s only so many doors you can knock on and somebody has to know something,” Jimmy said.

Both the Fort Hall Police Department and the Box Elder County Sheriff's Office in Utah are handling Matthew's case, but Jimmy said he sees very little cooperation and communication between the two agencies. And despite his son's case crossing state lines, Jimmy said he doesn't even know if the FBI is aware of Matthew's case.

Jimmy's dissatisfaction with authorities is shared by other families with missing children. The AP's investigation found a pattern of frustration with tribal police and federal authorities, and a feeling many cases aren’t handled urgently or thoroughly.

Nicole Ariwite echoed Jimmy's disappointment with authorities response to her daughter's missing person's case, 16-year-old Neveah Sanchez. In Sanchez's case, Ariwite believes she knows exactly who has her daughter and said she has eyewitness accounts of her daughter in a grown man's home, but has not been able to get a follow-up from Fort Hall or Pocatello authorities.

"I'm frustrated that my child is in some adults home and everyone knows it but the police won't help or do anything about it," Ariwite said.

From law enforcements perspective, the AP's investigation found missing persons and homicide cases that involve tribal members become a “jurisdictional thicket” of overlapping authority and different laws depending on the crime, whether it happened on a reservation or not, and whether a tribal member is the victim or perpetrator.

Lack of media attention and community awareness also make it difficult for families of missing persons to keep pressure on authorities to close the case.

“For the people out here, for the Native American, it’s like it’s really hush-hush, and we have to force (information) out there to be heard,” said Willeena George.

George, who's uncle Webster George has been missing since 1982, helped form a group called Carrying the Message. The group's mission is to bring awareness to area missing persons cases and support the families left behind.

The group started in 2019, after 23-year-old Fort Hall man Austin "Frost" Pevo went missing. Pevo's body was later recovered and three people were charged in relation to his murder.

Members of the group "Carrying the Message" are bringing awareness to Matthew Broncho's case.

For Matthew's family, that closure hasn't come yet.

“It’s just to the point where I just want to bring him home. This is where he belongs, this is his home," Metz said.

If you have any information regarding Matthew or Neveah's cases, you can call the Fort Hall Police Department at 208-238-4000.

To get involved with "Carrying the Message," you can call George at (208) 530-3765 or email her at

Article Topic Follows: Pocatello

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Emma Iannacone


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