Police turning to new technology in JonBenet Ramsey investigation


(NewsNation Now) — New advances in genetic DNA testing technology could help Boulder police in their investigation of the murder of JonBenet Ramsey, whose death has perplexed investigators and the nation for 25 years.

Ramsey was 6 years old when she was found murdered in her Boulder home on Dec. 26, 1996. The child had been strangled and left with a ransom note that Ramsey’s parents said they discovered.

The Boulder Police Department’s Major Crimes Unit works with the Colorado Bureau of Investigation to regularly check new DNA matches. The two key pieces of evidence remain on Ramsey’s underpants and the waistband of her long johns. As technology continues to advance and databases are regularly updated, Boulder police hope to bring clarity to the case.

Although police have not said what the new genetic DNA processes are, they could include databases generated from at-home DNA tests.

In recent years, investigators have identified suspects in unsolved cases by comparing DNA profiles from crime scenes and DNA testing results shared online by people researching their family trees. Cases to receive major breaks in that regard include the identification and arrest of serial killer and former police officer Joseph James DeAngelo, convicted of murdering 13 people.

As of December, the Boulder Police Department has processed more than 1,500 pieces of evidence that have included the analysis of nearly 1,000 DNA samples, according to a release from the City of Boulder. The Colorado Bureau of Investigations also has updated over 750 reference samples with the newest DNA technology.

Tests in 2008 on newly discovered DNA on JonBenet’s clothing pointed to the involvement of an “unexplained third party” in her slaying, and not her parents, John and Patsy Ramsey, or their son, Burke. That led former district attorney Mary Lacy to clear the Ramseys of any involvement two years after Patsy Ramsey died of cancer, calling the couple “victims of this crime.”

Anyone with information related to this investigation is urged to contact the City of Boulder tip line at 303-441-1974.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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