Colorado cold case review finishes analysis of JonBenét Ramsey murder

Posted at 2:58 PM, December 29, 2023

BOULDER, Colo. (Scripps News Denver) — The Colorado Cold Case Review Team has completed its analysis of the JonBenét Ramsey case, the Boulder Police Department announced Thursday.

JonBenét Patricia Ramsey family photo

FILE – JonBenét Patricia Ramsey (provided by John Ramsey via Scripps News Denver)

Boulder police announced the partnership in November 2022 through a joint press release with the City of Boulder, Boulder County District Attorney’s Office and 20th Judicial District.

Dec. 26 marked 27 years since the day the body of JonBenét Patricia Ramsey, just 6 years old, was found in the basement of her family’s home in Boulder. The young beauty pageant contestant had been bludgeoned and strangled. To date, nobody has been convicted of the crime, but theories have circulated for decades.

The crime chilled the community to the bone and the case quickly captured the attention of the nation. Today, it remains one of the country’s most high-profile unsolved crimes and the details surrounding her death spurred many books, documentaries, and TV specials. Some highlighted facts, others highlighted suspicions.

READ MORE: Timeline: Investigation into murder of JonBenét Ramsey

In its release Thursday, Boulder PD said the purpose of the review was to generate additional “investigative recommendations” and determine if any updated technologies and/or forensic testing would produce new leads.

During its year-long analysis, the Colorado Cold Case Review Team digitized all evidence in the case and created a searchable database that includes 21,000 tips, more than 1,000 interviews and samples from more than 200 people, including handwriting, DNA, fingerprints and shoeprints. In all, the case file contains nearly 2,500 pieces of evidence and nearly 40,000 reports, according to Boulder police.

family photo

FILE – Ramsey family (Scripps News Denver)

The Boulder Police Department said its detectives, along with the Boulder County District Attorney’s Office, are in the process of reviewing and prioritizing the review team’s recommendations. The police department said the recommendations will not be made public “to preserve the integrity of the investigation.”

“I am grateful for the Cold Case Review Team’s independent assessment and the recommendations provided regarding this tragic case,” Boulder Police Chief Maris Herold said in a statement. “We will continue to pursue all leads and explore technology advancements to identify JonBenet’s killer. I also commit to providing the community and family with investigative updates as new evidence emerges.”

Boulder police have worked with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the Boulder County District Attorney’s Office, Colorado’s Department of Public Safety, Colorado’s Bureau of Investigation, and several private DNA laboratories in this case.

RELATED: Court TV Exclusive: Gary Oliva’s newest letter and ongoing JonBenét Ramsey obsession

Authorities said the amount of DNA evidence that was collected at the crime scene — and is still available for analysis — is small and could be completely consumed by testing. However, in its update, the police department said Thursday that detectives are “actively taking steps to prepare the evidence for testing when possible.”

candles outside memorial

Candles surround a portrait of JonBenet Ramsey outside her home after a candlelight vigil on the one-year anniversary of her murder Friday, Dec. 26, 1997, in Boulder, Colo. About 60 people gathered for the vigil. (AP Photo/Michael S. Green)

“I am grateful for the hard work and collaboration of the multi-agency group that reviewed the entire case file and presented the case to the Cold Case Review Team. Also, I sincerely appreciate the time, expertise, and input provided by the members of the Cold Case Review Team,” said District Attorney Michael Dougherty in a statement. “As with any cold case homicide in Colorado, the overarching goal is to look at the facts and evidence with fresh eyes and an open mind, armed with the latest developments in forensic science. The presentation and discussion generated helpful recommendations. Importantly, it also ensures that everything possible is being done to solve this tragic murder.”

Anybody with information on this case is asked to call the tip line at 303-441-1974, email [email protected] or, to remain anonymous, call Northern Colorado Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.


This story was originally published by Scripps News Denver, an E.W. Scripps Company.