(NewsNation) — John Ramsey, the father of JonBenet Ramsey, started an online petition asking Colorado’s governor to transfer the remaining, untested DNA in his daughter’s murder to an independent lab.
In a statement, a spokesperson for Gov. Jared Polis responded, saying, “The State will review the petition and look into how the state can assist in using new technology to further investigate this cold case and to identify JonBenet Ramsey’s killer.”
“His response certainly was encouraging. We hope that that will be followed by action and not just words,” John Ramsey said during an exclusive interview Monday on NewsNation’s “Banfield.”
“DNA technology has advanced so far and so fast, and it needs to be applied to this case. There’s two problems. One, there’s crime scene evidence that’s never been tested, that should be tested. It most likely was handled by the killer. That needs to be sampled for DNA. Secondly, we had a meeting with the FBI a couple of months ago, and they said, ‘Look, we don’t even have the latest technology in government.'”
Ramsey says the FBI told him that going to an independent lab was the only legitimate solution.
The 6-year-old was found dead in the basement of her family’s home in Boulder on Dec. 26, 1996, bludgeoned and strangled, several hours after her mother called 911 to say her daughter was missing and a ransom note had been left behind.
Her death was ruled a homicide, but nobody was ever prosecuted.
“The same people are there today that … (managed) this case, 25 years ago? They were young novices then and I don’t know if they learned a whole lot more sense. But this reluctance to pursue the killer is just … I do not understand it. And it’s not acceptable,” Ramsey said.
The petition reads, in part:
“JonBenet Ramsey deserves justice and new advances in DNA technology finally make that possible. Colorado Gov. Jared Polis, you are the only person with enough power and independence in the state to put Ramsey DNA testing decisions in the hands of a new agency that’s free from Boulder’s significant history with the case.”
As of Monday evening, the petition had more than 2,500 signatures.
“We’re not asking the government to do anything that they shouldn’t be doing. We’re just asking them to do what they should be doing. We’re not asking for an apology. We’re not asking for exoneration. Just do your job,” Ramsey added.
Former Denver District Attorney Mitch Morrissey, who assisted the Boulder county DA’s office in the Ramsey case, told NewsNation that moving the DNA evidence would be a step backward.
“You would be taking it out of the hands of people who have been handling this for 25 years,” Morrissey said.
Meanwhile, the Boulder Police Department said it has been working with state law enforcement agencies and the FBI on the investigation and that DNA from the case is regularly checked for any new matches. As of December, the Colorado Bureau of Investigation has updated more than 750 DNA samples from the investigation with the latest technology, the department said in a statement.
“We have a shared goal to bring justice — and hopefully some peace — to JonBenet’s family and everyone who was impacted by her loss,” police Chief Maris Herold said in the statement.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.