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The 26-year anniversary of JonBenét Ramsey’s murder is approaching—and Boulder Police plan to seek help from an outside source in the latest effort to try to solve the case.
The City of Boulder announced Wednesday that they plan to consult on the long-unsolved case in 2023 with the Colorado Cold Case Review Team.
The team is made up of professional investigative, analytical and forensic experts from across the state who are expected to review the case and make recommendations based on current best practices in the field.
“As in any cold case homicide, the investigation can always benefit from the perspective of outside experts,” the city said its announcement.
JonBenét was reported missing the day after Christmas in 1996 after her parents found a ransom note demanding $118,000—but the 6-year-old’s body was later discovered in the basement of their Boulder, Colorado home.
“This crime has left a hole in the hearts of many, and we will never stop investigating until we find JonBenet’s killer,” Police Chief Maris Herold said. “That includes following up on every lead and working with our policing partners and DNA experts around the country to solve this tragic case. This investigation has always been and will continue to be a priority for the Boulder Police Department.”
Over the years, police said detectives have investigated leads from more than 21,000 tips, traveled to 19 states and interviewed more than 1,000 people.
They’ve also received assistance from other state and federal agencies including the FBI and Colorado Bureau of Investigation (CBI).
Authorities said they have also consulted with private DNA laboratories but said testing is complicated because the amount of DNA evidence available to analyze is "extremely small and complex.”
“The sample could, in whole or in part, be consumed by DNA testing,” according to the statement. “In collaboration with the CBI and the FBI, there have been several discussions with private DNA labs about the viability of continued testing of DNA recovered from the crime scene and genetic genealogy analysis. Those discussions will continue.”
The announcement comes after JonBenét’s half-brother and father have been publicly critical of the Boulder Police department and its efforts to solve the case.
“Police departments tend to be territorial … so if they don’t ask for help, help can’t come in,” he said at the time. “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.”
He also called out the police department for their “arrogance” in April at CrimeCon 2022.
“We can’t let the murder of a child be left up to local police,” he said while also voicing his support for a petition asking Gov. Jared Polis to allow for independent DNA testing in the case, according to previous reporting by Oxygen.com. “They’re just big enough that they think they know everything, and they don’t.”
JonBenét’s half-brother John Andrew Ramsey also told The U.S. Sun earlier this year that 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.
After the city’s announcement on Wednesday, John Andrew Ramsey took to Twitter, writing “Interesting” along with the link to the news release.
“This is positive. Forward progress,” he added. “More work to be done to catch a killer but it can be done.”
Boulder Police and prosecutors say they remain committed to solving the case, which has garnered international attention for decades.
“The murder of JonBenét Ramsey is a terrible tragedy and sparked years of unanswered questions and theories. Our office has successfully prosecuted other cold case homicides and many murder cases,” District Attorney Michael Dougherty said in the release. “In every one of those cases, it was evidence that provided the defendant(s) guilty. Whether it is DNA or other evidence, more is needed to solve this murder. I appreciate the collaboration with CBI, the FBI, and the Boulder Police Department."
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