JonBenet Ramsey: Boulder Police Chief Says Case Remains Active, Asks Public For Help

A Boulder, Colorado, police chief provided a statement on Thursday about the 1996 murder of JonBenet Ramsey. He assured the public that the case is still active, but urged people to understand that dramatized films and shows will likely taint the truth of the investigation.

Denver’s ABC 7 reports that chief Greg Testa probably issued the statement due to the recent buzz surrounding JonBenet, which is surfacing again after her brother, Burke Ramsey, recently told Dr. Phil what he remembers from the day after the murder. The interview marks the first time Burke has talked about the incident since his sister was killed. Additional attention on the case stems from an upcoming TV series, a documentary, and book. According to Testa,

“We have not and will not give up. We remain focused on this investigation and finding justice for JonBenet.”

Testa also touched on the dramatization of movies and TV shows. He reminded viewers that the facts are often twisted out of shape for the sake of entertainment, and that the details surrounding the incident on shows and movies aren’t always true to life, even though they’re based on actual events.

“Publications and movies offer many theories on how this crime occurred and who is responsible. Facts have been surmised and often distorted, which has led to many conclusions.”

The JonBenet case has remained a mystery since her death in 1996. The 6-year-old, who competed in national beauty pageants, was found dead in the basement of her family’s Boulder home, the day after she opened presents on Christmas.

John Ramsey, her father, initially thought she was missing. Her mother, Patsy Ramsey, phoned the police after she discovered a ransom note in the home, demanding $118,000 in exchange for JonBenet’s return. The child beauty queen was eventually found in the basement, around eight hours after she was reported missing. Police later stated that she died from strangulation and a skull fracture. They also indicated she was sexually assaulted.

JonBenet’s family remained suspects for several years after the murder. Although the evidence gathered against them were circumstantial, JonBenet’s parents and older brother, who was only 9 years old when his sister was murdered, were hounded by the public. John and Patsy Ramsey were slated to be indicted by the grand jury for their daughter’s death, but FOX News reports that former Boulder County District Attorney Alex Hunter refused to sign the indictment.

John and Patsy Ramsey, parents of JonBenet, remained the primary suspect in their daughter's murder case for years. [Photo by AP/Ric Feld]
In 2008, then-Boulder District Attorney Mary T. Lacy stated that the DNA found at the crime did not match any of the family members, which eliminated them as suspects.

“The Boulder District Attorney’’s Office does not consider any member of the Ramsey family, including John, Patsy, or Burke Ramsey, as suspects in this case.”

Lacy also stated that around 1,500 pieces of evidence were tested, more than 200 DNA samples were evaluated, and over 1,000 people were interviewed. Yet, despite the exhaustive detective work, the suspect remains elusive.

Testa stated that the investigation will continue while using the latest scientific equipment that wasn’t previously available. He reiterated that they’ll never stop looking until they get justice for JonBenet.

“The Boulder Police Department is committed to finding justice for JonBenet through a methodical and comprehensive investigation while looking at all aspects of the case. This is an open investigation. Investigators from our major crime’s unit are assigned to this case.”

In the meantime, police are asking the public for assistance as the 20th anniversary of the murder approaches. Anyone with any information on JonBenet Ramsey should contact the Boulder Police Department’s tip line at 303-441-1974. Callers can also contact the Northern Colorado Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).

[Photo by Barry Williams/Getty Images]