JonBenet Ramsey: Promising Update on Police's Murder Investigation

JonBenet Ramsey died 25 years ago, and her death remains one of the most famous unsolved murders in recent U.S. history. In a statement ahead of the anniversary, Boulder, Colorado, police announced it is "actively reviewing genetic DNA testing processes," hoping that new technology could help them find who killed JonBenet. The 6-year-old was found dead in her family's basement on Dec. 26, 1996.

JonBenet was found bludgeoned and strangled, hours after her mother Patsy Ramsey called 911 to report her daughter missing. A long ransom note was also found in the Ramseys' home. Her death was ruled a homicide and the case caught national attention. As of December 2021, Boulder police have analyzed almost 1,000 DNA samples and reviewed over 21,000 tips. Boulder detectives have traveled to 19 states and interviewed over 1,000 people in connection with JonBenet's death.

"Thanks to the huge advances in DNA technology, multiple suspects have been run through the system to check for matches," Boulder police said in a statement Tuesday. "[The Colorado Bureau of Investigation] has updated over 750 reference samples with the latest DNA technology. The Boulder Police Department works closely with CBI on future DNA advancements."

Boulder police are also working with the CBI to make sure DNA in their system can be "compared correctly to new DNA samples that have been uploaded to ensure accuracy." While they continue their investigation, the department is "actively reviewing genetic DNA testing processes to see if those can be applied to this case moving forward."

JonBenet's parents Patsy and John were publicly cleared of the crime by then-District Attorney Mary Lacy after police said DNA evidence collected from the child's clothing matched an unknown male, reports the Denver Post. The Ramseys' son Burke was also cleared of JonBenet's murder at the time. The Boulder Daily Camera also reported in 2013 that John and Patsy were not charged after a grand jury voted to indict them on charges of child abuse resulting in death in 2000, but the district attorney at the time disbanded the grand jury without telling the public. JonBenet's mother died of cancer in 2006 at age 49.

The case is still the subject of new documentaries, some of which have focused on theories that the Ramseys were involved in JonBenet's death. Burke sued CBS News in 2016 after the network aired a special that included a theory that he was involved in his sister's death. In January 2019, Burke and CBS reached a settlement. Burke was 9 years old when his sister died.