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Brother of mom-of-three’s boyfriend is jailed for up to 21 years in her 2007 cold case

An Idaho man has been sentenced to up to 21 years in prison in the 2007 killing of a mother-of-three engaged to be married to his brother. 

Kenneth Jones, 32, was given the sentence of 10 to 21 years  by District Judge Joel Tingey after confessing to killing Stephanie Eldredge.

In October 2020, Jones pleaded guilty to felony voluntary manslaughter, felony concealment, and alteration or destruction of evidence, and misdemeanor resisting and obstruction. 

His plea agreement saw the charges amended down from second degree murder, East Idaho News reports.   

Stephanie Eldredge

Kenneth Jones, 32, was given the sentence of 10 to 21 years by District Judge Joel Tingey after confessing to killing Stephanie Eldredge.

In October 2020, Jones pleaded guilty to felony voluntary manslaughter, felony concealment, and alteration or destruction of evidence, and misdemeanor resisting and obstruction

In October 2020, Jones pleaded guilty to felony voluntary manslaughter, felony concealment, and alteration or destruction of evidence, and misdemeanor resisting and obstruction

‘She was taken from me, one of the things I have a right to — my mom,’ one of Eldredge’s daughter read from her victim impact statement. ‘… No matter how much time you serve, just know you’ve ruined the lives of so many but most of all … you ruined your own.’

Eldredge disappeared from her apartment on Holbrook Drive in Idaho Falls on August 20, 2007. Authorities feared the worse when they arrived on the scene and found Eldredge’s baby daughter, cell phone, car keys, purse and shoes.  

‘I would do anything to go back and change that day,’ Jones said, prior to his sentencing. ‘I’m sorry for what happened. I’m sorry for what happened afterward and I’m even more sorry for the three little girls who grew up without their mom. It was a very cowardly act holding this in for all these years.’

Eldredge was living with her fiance and her killer’s half-brother, Michael Jimenez, his mother and Jones at the time of her killing. Both Jimenez and his mother cooperated with authorities during their investigation, documents indicate.  

Eldredge disappeared from her apartment on Holbrook Drive in Idaho Falls on August 20, 2007. Authorities feared the worse when they arrived on the scene and found Eldredge's baby daughter, cell phone, car keys, purse and shoes

Eldredge disappeared from her apartment on Holbrook Drive in Idaho Falls on August 20, 2007. Authorities feared the worse when they arrived on the scene and found Eldredge’s baby daughter, cell phone, car keys, purse and shoes

‘However, it became immediately apparent that Kenneth R. Jones was not being truthful, and the investigation focused on Jones as a potential suspect,’ police said in a probable cause affidavit.  

In 2009, Jones was behind bars for an unrelated crime, and is said to have told his cellmate that he had violently killed Eldredge. The cellmate – Eddie Arellano – later told investigators that Jones had violently killed Eldredge, Local 8 News reports.

 Eldredge’s decomposed body was found bound in electrical tape by investigators on April 23, 2010, buried in a shallow grave just outside Idaho Falls. 

The case went cold, however, as investigators did not believe the jailhouse confession was enough to charge Jones with murder. 

Eldredge was living with her fiance and her killer's half-brother, Michael Jimenez, his mother and Jones at the time of her killing. Both Jimenez and his mother cooperated with authorities during their investigation, documents indicate

Eldredge was living with her fiance and her killer’s half-brother, Michael Jimenez, his mother and Jones at the time of her killing. Both Jimenez and his mother cooperated with authorities during their investigation, documents indicate

In 2009, Jones was behind bars for an unrelated crime, and is said to have told his cellmate that he had violently killed Eldredge. The cellmate - Eddie Arellano - later told investigators that Jones had violently killed Eldredge

In 2009, Jones was behind bars for an unrelated crime, and is said to have told his cellmate that he had violently killed Eldredge. The cellmate – Eddie Arellano – later told investigators that Jones had violently killed Eldredge

Jessica Marley was assigned to the case in 2014, and things began turning around for the investigation. She was placed on the case full time in November 2018 and began working with ‘Cold Justice,’ a true-crime T.V. series that assisted in funding the testing of evidence with newer technology. 

The Idaho Falls Police Department announced on March 23, 2019, that Jones was charged with second-degree murder in the mother’s death. Jones is currently serving time for a felony third-degree arson case, and is currently being held at the Bonneville County Jail. 

During the change of plea hearing, Jones shared that he and Eldredge had been in a fight on the day she was killed. He said that when he pushed her, Eldredge hit her head, causing her death. 

Jones said that to his ‘great shame,’ he ‘panicked’ while not knowing what to do, which led to him hiding her body.  

‘This has been an open wound for 13 years without any resolution and to an extent without any hope of resolution,’ Tingey said. ‘Hopefully this can bring some conclusion, some closure to what has been again an open wound for so long.


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