New DNA May Help Solve Famous Colorado Cold Case

New DNA May Help Solve Famous Colorado Cold Case

( – Twenty-five years ago, the Ramsey family suffered the unthinkable. Their 6-year-old daughter, JonBenet, was the victim of an unknown killer. While investigators have been working on the case since it happened, they’ve had no luck catching the culprit. Now, they hope advances in DNA technology could open new doors.

The Evidence

When officers collected evidence from the crime scene at the Ramsey house in Boulder, Colorado, they gathered DNA samples. At the time, they were unable to test it thoroughly because the technology wasn’t available. Testing genetic material was only a decade old in December 1996.

In 2008, they were able to run additional tests on the samples and found there was DNA not belonging to anyone identifiable. Still, this new evidence enabled the prosecutor to clear parents John and Patsy Ramsey and their son Burke of the crime.

The Boulder Police Department (BPD) retained samples from the crime scene, hoping DNA testing techniques would advance to help them crack the case.

The Testing

In the past, the BPD’s Major Crimes Unit has run the unknown sample through the Colorado Bureau of Investigation’s (CBI) system, but no match has ever turned up. Every time the CBI updates its database, the unit reruns the sample.

The BPD continues to work with the CBI to stay on top of DNA technology. The current hope is genetic DNA testing may help uncover new information leading to the identification of the murderer. In a statement, the BPD said it is reviewing how to apply this new method to the case.

Genetic DNA Testing

Genetic DNA testing involves using public databases for people searching for ancestors and family members. It was the tool California law enforcement used to identify the Golden State Killer.

Investigators will compare the DNA to try to find close family matches. From there, they begin searching for the person within that family who could be the suspect.

This method of crime-solving has prompted controversy. Some people think it is an invasion of privacy. However, the technique has allowed law enforcement to solve a number of cold cases and bring justice to victims and their families using genetic DNA testing.

Individual companies can decide if they will share their databases, and law enforcement will consider using whatever information is at their disposal. It’s possible BPD might finally solve the murder of JonBenet Ramsey using this advanced DNA tool.

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