JonBenet Ramsey: Boulder police look to new technology to crack 25-year-old case

A quarter-century after JonBenét Ramsey was found dead inside her Boulder home in one of the region’s most infamous unsolved crimes, the city’s police department says it is “actively reviewing genetic DNA testing processes” to see if new technology can finally identify her killer.

Boulder police, in a news release marking the 25th anniversary of the child’s death, noted the voluminous evidence it has collected in the 1996 cold case: more than 1,500 pieces of evidence; 21,016 tips, letters and emails; and 1,000 individuals interviewed across 19 states in connection to the grisly crime.

Police have also analyzed 1,000 DNA samples, a tool for law enforcement that’s led to arrests and convictions for cold cases in Colorado and the rest of the country. DNA evidence helped authorities track down a suspect in the notorious “Hammer Killings” in metro Denver from nearly 40 years ago, and Denver police this year extradited a man in connection with a 1994 Denver homicide based on DNA evidence.

“As the department continues to use new technology to enhance the investigation, it is actively reviewing genetic DNA testing processes to see if those can be applied to this case moving forward,” Boulder police said in the release.

The Ramsey case captivated the nation and has stymied investigators since the 6-year-old was reported missing on Dec. 26, 1996. The family reported finding a ransom note inside their home in the 700 block of 15th Street, demanding a $118,000 payment.

The child’s body was later found in a basement room, with evidence showing she had been hit in the head, strangled and sexually assaulted.

JonBenét’s parents, Patsy and John, initially were placed under an “umbrella of suspicion” by Boulder police, but were publicly cleared in 2008 by then-District Attorney Mary Lacy after DNA evidence collected from JonBenet’s clothing matched an unknown male.

Boulder’s Daily Camera newspaper reported in 2013 that a grand jury had voted to indict JonBenét’s parents in 2000 on charges of child abuse resulting in death, but that the district attorney at the time, Alex Hunter, refused to sign the indictment and disbanded the panel without telling the public about the vote.

No one has ever been charged in connection with JonBenét’s death.

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