JonBenet's father reacts to Boulder police update in daughter's unsolved 1996 murder case: 'More of the same'

JonBenet's father reacts to Boulder police update in daughter's unsolved 1996 murder case: 'More of the same'

JonBenet Ramsey's father John has some hope that his deceased six-year-old daughter's 1996 murder case could take a turn after the Boulder Police Department on Wednesday announced a new path to finding her killer — but he doesn't think it will be enough.

BPD said it will consult the Colorado Cold Case Review Team in sometime in 2023 — 26 years after Ramsey found his daughter murdered in the basement of their family home on Dec. 26, 1996.

John Ramsey, 78, said the police department's decision to partner with the state cold case team was "the only encouraging thing" he had read in BPD's statement.

"Sadly, it sounded like more of the same…" Ramsey told Fox News Digital, "and that's not what we need. It's a good effort by their PR department, but that's not what we need to be done."

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JonBenet's mother reported the six-year-old missing to police on the morning of Dec. 26, 1996, after finding a lengthy ransom note demanding $118,000 in exchange for JonBenet. John Ramsey found her body later that same day. Her killer has yet to be identified.

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Ramsey does think that his recent efforts to shed new light in the case in recent years may have helped inspire BPD's decision to consult the cold case team, but he's waiting for something more, and is willing to pursue potential legal action if significant developments in the case are not made soon.

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"They would love for this case just to go away and put in a file cabinet that never gets opened. We're not gonna let that happen," Ramsey said.

BPD says it has investigated leads from more than 21,000 tips, letters and emails and traveled to 19 states to speak with more than 1,000 people about the case.

"This crime has left a hole in the hearts of many, and we will never stop investigating until we find JonBenet’s killer," Boulder Police Chief Maris Herold said in a Wednesday statement. "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."

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In the spring of 2022, Ramsey helped release a petition that has since garnered more than 28,000 signatures calling on Colorado Gov. Jared Polis to allow an independent agency to take over the investigation from BPD.

The father of five has expressed discontent with BPD's handling of the case over the past 26 years and believes that independent research teams who have offered their assistance in the case can bring his daughter's killer to light. To do so, the city of Boulder and BPD must hand over the case evidence in their custody so items can be re-tested for DNA to potentially build a profile of the suspect(s).

If they are able to build a more complete DNA profile of the suspect(s), that information can then be compared to millions of DNA profiles uploaded to public databases showing people’s unique genetic codes.

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"There are … two or three cutting-edge labs that have had great success," Ramsey explained. "And they're they're private. They're not within the government. The government, by their own admission, the FBI told us this six or eight months ago: 'We don't have the latest technology that is only available in these outside labs,' and that's where we need to go. So, we want that to be done."

Ramsey said he had sent his own DNA sample to Ancestry DNA, which sells DNA test kits for $25, so that his genetic code is available in its database. The company says on its website that it has "surpassed 4 million customers in our DNA database" and is "proud to remain the largest consumer genetic testing company."

The 78-year-old father and grandfather said the process of trying to get answers over the past two and a half decades can get tiresome, but he is still motivated to keep going.

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"It gets weary to keep beating the same drum," he said.

CrimeCon 2022 — a convention for true-crime enthusiasts, scientists, journalists and victims of crime alike to come together and discuss their similar or different experiences — re-energized Ramsey. He spoke at the convention to a room of several hundred people who remained silent as he told his side of the story after 25 years.

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"I was just overwhelmed by the interest and supportive people that were behind us and that we can leverage," he said.

On the one hand, Ramsey is hopeful that BPD seems willing to get help from the state cold case team to find new leads in his daughter's murder case. On the other hand, he said he doesn't know anything about the cold case team or who works for it, so he is unsure whether the 2023 partnership will reveal anything promising. Ramsey is also waiting to hear back from the Colorado governor to discuss next steps.