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Crime News Cold Cases

JonBenét Ramsey’s Father Continues Plea To Get Evidence From Scene Sent to DNA Labs

In the new documentary “Suburban Nightmare: JonBenét Ramsey,” John Ramsey continues to push his efforts to get evidence from the case sent out to independent labs.

By Gina Tron
5 Infamous Cold Cases of Murder

JonBenét Ramsey’s dad is continuing efforts to get his daughter’s case solved with his work on the upcoming documentary “Suburban Nightmare: JonBenét Ramsey." In the doc, which premieres on Tubi on Dec. 21, John Ramsey strongly emphasizes his desire for evidence in his daughter’s murder case to be tested by private entities. He is hoping that new technology can finally lead to answers, nearly 26 years after JonBenét’s murder.

John told Oxygen.com via phone interview that there are possibly five to six pieces of evidence at the scene that he wants to be tested by private sources; he is adamant that advances in DNA technology can lead to a potential breakthrough in the case. Other DNA samples from the scene that had been previously tested did not lead to the identification of any suspect.

“We know there's five or six [pieces of evidence] that were picked for the crime scene that were never tested for DNA. We want those tested by one of these private professionals,” John said explaining his plea to Boulder Police to turn over the evidence to private labs. He noted that the Boulder Police have not had these pieces of evidence tested before because they believe they may only contain tiny elements of DNA, if any. 

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“The forensic people think there is potential for DNA evidence,” John told Oxygen.com. “If you [the Boulder Police Department] have not tested those, there are labs out there that have publicly said, ‘I think we could solve this case. If you just give us samples, we can test them using our latest technology.' That's what we're asking them to do.”

In 2021, Jon created a petition to put pressure on Boulder Police Department to have the evidence retested via new DNA methods, the kind of testing that has led to the conclusion of many other notorious cold cases in the past few years.

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He attended CrimeCon in April to encourage attendees to sign that petition. In November, the Boulder Police stated that they would work with the Colorado Cold Case Review Team and talk to private DNA labs. However, they emphasized that the “DNA evidence available for analysis is extremely small and complex,” adding that “the sample could, in whole or in part, be consumed by DNA testing.”

John told Oxygen.com that they have not agreed to send it over to the private labs.

For those unfamiliar with the case, a lengthy hand-written was found in the Ramsey family’s Boulder, Colorado, home the day after Christmas in 1996, claiming JonBenét had been kidnapped. The note had demanded $118,000 in ransom. The 6-year-old’s body was found in the house's basement eight hours later.

The murder of the child, who won several pageant titles including America's Royale Miss and Little Miss Colorado, became a national story and the subject of frequent speculative theories. Her father, John, her mother Patsy and even her brother, were eyed unfavorably by detectives and the media alike in the 1990s, as the new documentary details.

A grand jury even voted to indict the parents in 1999, but the district attorney decided not to go ahead with charges against John and Patsy Ramsey, citing a lack of evidence.

Patsy died of cancer in 2006. Two years later, Boulder County District Attorney Mary Lacy, who used to run the county's sexual assault unit, formally cleared the family after examining DNA evidence.

Several people have allegedly claimed to have killed Ramsey, including sex offender Gary Oliva, but none have been connected by the DNA evidence at the scene that has been tested.

Just this month, several Boulder Police Department members, including a lead investigator on the Ramsey case, were disciplined for failing to properly investigate cases, according to Fox NewsThe move has given John hope, but he expressed continued frustration with the department in the Oxygen.com interview.

John told Oxygen.com that in addition to getting the pieces of evidence sent out to private labs, he wants to start advocating for a law that would make any murder of a child 12 years or under a federal offense.

“We can not leave it up to the local, small town Barney Fife to solve the case,” John said. “We should integrate the full resources of our country on protecting our children.”

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