Cops in Colorado are still “actively” working to solve the cold-case murder of JonBenet Ramsey – and believe DNA evidence could be the key to identifying her killer 25 years later.
Boulder police provided an update in the infamous unsolved mystery Monday, saying investigators have processed more than 1,500 pieces of evidence in the 6-year-old’s slaying.
JonBenet was found dead in the basement of her family’s home on Dec. 26, 1996, and an autopsy revealed she had been strangled.
The investigation has included the analysis of nearly 1,000 DNA samples as of this month, and “multiple suspects” have been compared for possible matches thanks to significant advances in DNA technology, department officials said.
Boulder police are also working with the Colorado Bureau of Investigation on “future DNA advancements” to hopefully make a break in the case that has long stymied detectives.
“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 a statement.
Cops in Boulder have looked into more than 2,100 tips, letters and emails connected to the case, visiting 19 states throughout the process to interview more than 1,000 people connected to JonBenet’s strangulation death.
Police have said JonBenet was found dead hours after she was reported missing by her mother. The family had discovered a ransom note inside their home that demanded a $118,000 payment, the Denver Post reported.
Evidence later showed the blond girl who competed in beauty pageants had been struck in the head, strangled and sexually assaulted, the newspaper reported.
JonBenet’s parents, Patsy and John, were initially eyed by Boulder police in her slaying, but were later cleared in 2008 along with their son, Burke, after DNA evidence collected from the girl’s clothing matched an unknown male.
Two years earlier, Patsy Ramsey died of ovarian cancer at age 49. The Ramseys have insisted an intruder killer their daughter, although no one has ever been charged in the slaying.
In 2016, a Georgia man named John Mark Karr was arrested in Thailand after falsely confessing to killing the 6-year-old beauty pageant star. The case was later dropped because Karr’s DNA didn’t link him to the grisly slaying.
Burke Ramsey, 34, settled a $750 million defamation lawsuit with CBS in 2019 after a television series suggested he killed his 6-year-old sister. Terms of the deal weren’t disclosed.
Investigators previously announced in 2016 that they were eyeing new DNA testing in JonBenet’s slaying, allowing them to tap into an FBI database that now includes genetic profiles of more than 20 million known offenders and arrestees.
JonBenet’s half-brother, John Andrew Ramsey, who was in Atlanta at the time of the slaying and was reportedly cleared by cops in 1997, tweeted “don’t believe the hype” Tuesday while sharing a news report on the new DNA testing processes.
“What the Boulder police have done to date is not enough,” Ramsey told the Denver Gazette. “What our family wants is results. We don’t care who gets us to the finish line, whether it’s the Boulder police, great. If it’s another agency, great. Whatever it takes to find JonBenet’s killer.”