By: Amy Wadas
DENVER (KMGH) – Dec. 26 marked 26 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, and yet her murder remains unsolved.
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.
Since her murder, Boulder detectives have investigated leads that stemmed from more than 21,000 tips, letters, and emails, and interviewed more than 1,000 people across 19 states.
Her father, John Ramsey, recently sent a letter to Colorado Governor Jared Polis, requesting an in-person meeting and help in solving his daughter’s murder.
“We’ve pushed and pushed Boulder police with no success,” said John Ramsey.
“I am 78 now and realize that time for answers is running out,” John’s letter reads. “The murder of my daughter can never be undone. There will never be peace or closure, but there can and should be justice.”
Ramsey says Polis responded to his letter, calling it the first communication he’s ever had from the state.
“Gave us certainly some indication that he would like to help move the case along,” John said. “There were no commitments, but I was encouraged.”
KMGH-TV also reached out to the governor’s office, which said, “The governor recently requested a briefing from the Colorado Department of Public Safety on this matter. Public Safety and CBI has consulted with Boulder Police and came to the same conclusion.”
DNA evidence was found at the crime scene, but the amount collected — and still available for analysis — is small and could be completely consumed by testing, according to authorities. KMGH-TV asked the Boulder Police Department what steps need to be taken to allow a private lab to test the DNA evidence.
“Because this is still an active and open investigation, we’re unable to answer specific questions at this time,” a Boulder PD spokesperson responded.
“Is there some reason they don’t believe their testable? That to me is the unanswered question nobody seems to address,” said Ramsey.
The Boulder Police Department will consult with the Colorado Cold Case Review Team beginning this year.
The Colorado Cold Case Review Team was created in 2009. The Colorado Bureau of Investigation created it as an additional tool for agencies investigating cold cases. The team is made of professional investigative, analytical, and forensic experts from across the state, according to CBI, and they typically meet two to four times a year.
Boulder police have worked with the 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.
While you never get over the loss of a child, John says his pain has turned into purpose and looks back on his bright light fondly.
“Remembering JonBenét is a happy memory, and that’s a good thing,” the father said.
This story was originally published Jan. 3 by KMGH in Denver, an E.W. Scripps Company.