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JonBenét Ramsey's Father Insists Outside Help Could Hold Key To Daughter's Murder

JonBenet Ramsey, who was found dead in the basement of her family's Boulder, Colorado home on Dec. 26, 1996, would have turned 32 years old on Saturday.

By Jill Sederstrom
The JonBenét Ramsey Case, Explained

JonBenét Ramsey’s dad still believes private investigators could hold the key to solving his daughter’s case, as he reflects on his “daddy’s girl” on what would have been her 32nd birthday.

John Ramsey told Fox News he believes the decades-old case could be solved if Boulder Police would be open to assistance from independent researchers and investigators who have offered to help with the decades-old unsolved case.

“Police departments tend to be territorial … so if they don’t ask for help, help can’t come in,” John said. “There’s lots of help that was offered to them from qualified people that they refused to let come in. That’s why this case has never been solved.”

John made the comments Friday, just one day before what would have been his daughter’s 32nd birthday.

JonBenét was murdered when she was just 6 years old.

Her body was found Dec. 26, 1996 in the basement of the family’s Boulder, Colorado home in what has become one of the country’s most compelling unsolved mysteries. The young girl, who competed in child pageants and loved to dance and put on shows for her family, had been strangled and had a large 8 ½ inch fracture to her head.

John remembered his daughter Friday in her happier moments, describing her as “smart” “very outgoing” and “full of energy.”

“She was a daddy’s girl,” he said. “She was really proud that she was named after me, and she would tell people that. My name is John Bennett, so that’s where that came from.”

She came into the world “with a bang” on Aug. 6, 1990, barely giving her mother Patsy time to make it to the hospital and had been a positive force in the family until her shocking death.

Now, more than 25 years after her death, John is voicing his frustrations with Boulder Police, telling the news outlet he finds it “unacceptable” that police have refused to accept outside help to solve the case.

His comments mirrored statements he made in April at CrimeCon 2022, where he called out the department for their “arrogance.”

“We can’t let the murder of a child be left up to local police,” he said at the conference, according to previous reporting by Oxygen.com. “They’re just big enough that they think they know everything, and they don’t.”

Jonbenet Ramsey G

He’s also voiced support for a petition calling on Gov. Jared Polis to allow for independent testing of DNA evidence found in the case.

CeCe Moore, the chief genetic genealogist at Parabon NanoLabs, told Fox News late last month said it’s “possible” the case could be solved in a number of hours using new DNA techniques that weren’t available decades ago.

“There are a lot of caveats and conditions as to how that could happen,” she said, adding that she wouldn’t be able to help with the case unless she was invited by police.

Moore has helped solve 109 murder and rape cases since 2018 by using genetic genealogy, which helps identify potential suspects through the use of public DNA databases and building out family trees, according to People.

Moore said she would “love to be invited to work” with JonBenét’s case.

"If there is a DNA sample, no matter how small, we would certainly like to give that a try," she said. "But they need to be very, very careful where they send that DNA, and they should really make sure it’s someone with a really good track record.”

Boulder Police have continued to insist their commitment to the case has never wavered and said in a statement released in May defending their handling of the case that they have pursued more than 21,016 tips, letter and emails and conducted interviews with more than 1,000 people over the years.

“Our investigation with federal, state, and local partners has never stopped. That includes new ways to use DNA technology,” Police Chief Maris Herold said. “We’ve always used state of the art technology as it has been at the forefront of this investigation. Every time the DNA technology changed, we worked to make sure the evidence could be tested.”

They reiterated their stance again in a statement online in July after someone had criticized the department for not inviting Moore to help.

“The Boulder Police Department regularly meets with multiple entities regarding this investigation, to include private labs, the FBI, CBI, the District Attorney’s Office and others,” they wrote. “In this ever-and quick-changing field of DNA analysis and testing, we are constantly speaking with these investigative stakeholders to evaluate how best to proceed given legal and scientific rules and limitations.”

They added that police are “extremely cautious with the handling of evidence and analysis” due to the length of time since the crime occurred.

One of the challenges is that DNA can disappear if it has been tested too many times, according to Fox News.

John Ramsey isn’t the only Ramsey family member to have publicly criticized the department’s actions.

JonBenét’s half-brother John Andrew Ramsey told The U.S. Sun he wants police to share what they know about the case.

“It’s been 25 years. It’s time for Boulder police to talk,” he said.

He’s hoping new legislation signed into law on Aug. 3 by President Joe Biden could help his sister’s case. The law allows families to submit an application to a federal agency to request a case be reopened.

It’s up to the federal agency to decide how to proceed after the application is submitted, but John Andrew Ramsey sees it as a way to get fresh eyes on the case.

"If I'm stuck on something, I would want someone to look at the problem with a clear set of eyes and fresh ideas."

However, legal expert Bennet Gershman told the news outlet that it’s not clearly established whether the new law would apply to local police departments.

For now, John Ramsey said he’s been grateful for the public support he’s received for finding justice in his daughter’s case and has been “overwhelmed” by the number of people who’ve signed the petition to Gov. Polis.

“That’s been really gratifying to me and heartwarming and actually keeps me motivated to keep pushing hard on these government people,” he said.

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