The Boulder police still don’t get it.

A 25-year-old case that has never been solved and is not being actively and consistently investigated IS a cold case. If you want to make it about semantics, then don’t call it a “cold case.” Call it an abject failure. That is the investigation into the 1996 murder of 6-year-old JonBenet Ramsey in two words. If you want one word, just say “unsolved.” Then do whatever you have to do to solve it.

The FBI and the Colorado state lab do NOT have the capabilities that the third-party labs like Othram Labs, Parabon NanoLabs have with cutting edge DNA testing of evidence and subsequent genetic genealogy. Sing all you want about how many times your state lab reevaluated (more like extinguished) evidence in this case. It’s like continuing to go back to your general practice doctor when you need a specialist. You will get the same answer: “You’re fine, get lost.”

Last week JonBenet’s father, John Ramsey, said he plans to pursue legal action if the Colorado government ignores his petition to allow an independent agency to conduct DNA testing on evidence in his daughter’s case.

A Boulder police spokesperson is quoted as saying “we are constantly speaking with these investigative stakeholders to assess how best to proceed given legal and scientific rules and restrictions.” And: “[D]ue to the long time since this crime first occurred, the Boulder Police Department must exercise extreme caution in handling evidence and analysis.” Blather.

Pick up the phone and call former cold case investigator Paul Holes or Sacramento County District Attorney Anne Marie Schubert and ask how they were able to “proceed given legal and scientific rules and restrictions” and how they exercised caution in handling evidence far older than that in the Ramsey case and were able to secure the arrest of Joseph D’Angelo for the Golden State killer murders and rapes (committed between 1976 and 1985) in 2018 and send him to prison in 2020. Or call any one of the many law enforcement agencies, big and small, who have had success with the use of third-party labs in their unsolved homicide cases since 2018.

Invite the third-party labs to your agency and have scientists actually explain to you what their processes are and how they handle chain-of-custody and other concerns. PROCEED. The foot-dragging is a very bad look. You owe it to the six-year-old victim in this case, whose case files and evidence have sat in your offices for over 25 years. Get up to speed and get the job done.

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