The Boulder Police Department (BPD) is consulting the Colorado Cold Case Review Team nearly 26 years after 6-year-old JonBenet Ramsey was murdered in the basement of her family’s home..
JonBenet’s mother reported the 6-year-old missing to police on the morning of Dec. 26, 1996, after finding a lengthy ransom note demanding $118,000 in exchange for JonBenet. The girl’s father, John Ramsey, found her body later that same day in the basement of her home.
“This crime has left a hole in the hearts of many, and we will never stop investigating until we find JonBenet’s killer,” Boulder Police Chief Maris Herold said in a Wednesday statement. “That includes following up on every lead and working with our policing partners and DNA experts around the country to solve this tragic case. This investigation has always been and will continue to be a priority for the Boulder Police Department.”
The department, in addition to partnering with private DNA labs, said it will consult with the Colorado Cold Case Review Team, comprised of cold-case experts from across the state, at some point next year. BPD described the team as a tool to help further cold case investigations.
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JonBenet’s half-brother, John Andrew Ramsey, described the move as “interesting” in a Wednesday tweet.
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“This is positive,” he wrote. “Forward progress. More work has to be done to catch a killer but it can be done.”
An autopsy after JonBenet’s death revealed that the girl died of strangulation and a blow to the head. The Boulder City Medical Examiner reported an 8 1/2-inch fracture on her skull. Authorities have not convicted any suspects in the case.
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BPD says it has investigated leads from more than 21,000 tips, letters and emails and traveled to 19 states to speak with more than 1,000 people about the case.
“The murder of JonBenet Ramsey is a terrible tragedy and sparked years of unanswered questions and theories. Our office has successfully prosecuted other cold case homicides and many murder cases,” District Attorney Michael Dougherty said. “In every one of those cases, it was the evidence that proved the defendant(s) guilty. Whether it is DNA or other evidence, more is needed to solve this murder. I appreciate the collaboration with CBI, the FBI, and the Boulder Police Department.”
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The move comes as John Ramsey has made efforts in recent years to bring renewed attention to the case and find his daughter’s killer. He helped release a petition in the spring of 2021, which has garnered more than 28,000 signatures, calling on Colorado Gov. Jared Polis to allow an independent agency to take over the investigation from BPD.
The father of five has expressed deep disappointment with BPD’s handling of the case over the last 26 years and believes independent research teams who have offered their assistance in the case have the ability to bring his daughter’s killer to light. To do so, BPD must hand over the evidence in their custody so items can be re-tested for DNA to potentially build a profile of the suspect.
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If they are able to build a more complete DNA profile of the suspect(s), that information can then be compared to millions of DNA profiles uploaded to public databases showing people’s unique genetic codes.
Authorities are asking anyone with information related to the JonBenet investigation to contact 303-441-1974, BouldersMostWanted@bouldercolorado.gov or Northern Colorado Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).