Crime and Safety

Boulder Police Chief Shares Huge Update on JonBenet Ramsey Case

Police handling the 1996 unsolved murder of child beauty queen JonBenet Ramsey will reach out to the Colorado Cold Case Review Team for help.

The Boulder Police Department and the Boulder County District Attorney’s Office made the announcement in a news release Thursday.

“As in any cold case homicide, the investigation can always benefit from the perspective of outside experts,” the news release said. “So, in addition to talking with the private DNA labs, the Boulder Police Department will be consulting with the Colorado Cold Case Review Team in 2023.

“The Cold Case Review Team is comprised of professional investigative, analytical, and forensic experts from across the state. The Review Team is another tool to help further cold case homicide investigations, including making recommendations based on best practices in the investigative field.”

Six-year-old JonBenet Ramsey was found dead in the basement of her family’s home on Dec. 26, 1996. She had suffered a massive blow to the head and died of strangulation, officials determined. A ransom note was found in the home.

“Theories have swirled for years that JonBenet, who spent much of her life on the beauty pageant circuit, was killed by an intruder who broke into the house or by a member of her family,” NBC News reported.

The only other people believed to have been in the home at the time were the little girl’s mother and father, Patsy and John, and her 9-year-old brother Burke.

John Ramsey made headlines in July when he threatened to go to court to force new DNA testing to take place in the case.

The news release put out this week addressed that topic, indicating that officials are proceeding with caution because the amount of DNA evidence available for analysis “is extremely small and complex.”

“The sample could, in whole or in part, be consumed by DNA testing,” the release said.

It added that there have been “several discussions with private DNA labs about the viability of continued testing of DNA recovered from the crime scene and genetic genealogy analysis. Those discussions will continue.

“Whenever there is a proven technology that can reliably test forensic samples consistent with the samples available in this case, additional analysis will be conducted.”

John Ramsey told KUSA-TV that it is “a big mistake” to delay additional DNA testing.

“Why aren’t those being tested?” he told the news outlet. “They should be. Right now. Waiting for the next generation of DNA technology is silly.

“Why in the world you wouldn’t test them now, given that the technology has advanced dramatically in 25 years, I don’t understand that.”

Asked if he thought his daughter’s murder case will ever be solved, Ramsey told KUSA, “Not if it stays in the hands of the Boulder Police, no, I don’t, I really don’t.”

JonBenet’s half-brother, John Andrew, appears to be a bit more optimistic that justice can be reachecd, particularly in light of these recent developments.:

“This is positive. Forward progress. More work to be done to catch a killer but it can be done,” John Andrew wrote on Twitter.

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