The 26-year-old mystery of who killed child beauty queen JonBenet Ramsey could be solved in “as little as hours” with new DNA technology, says forensic genealogy expert CeCe Moore.
JonBenet’s brother John Andrew Ramsey has been calling for newly-developed DNA testing techniques to be used on the weapon used to kill the six-year-old on Boxing Day 1996.
Citing a San Francisco Chronicle article about a 30-year-old murder case being solved after the ground-breaking DNA test was used, Ramsey tweeted: “They pulled his DNA from the rope. Test the goddamn garrote”.
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JonBenet was strangled with an improvised nylon cord garrote that was apparently made by the killer shortly before her death. DNA evidence from it has yet to be tested with the latest techniques.
The six-year-old was found dead in the basement of her family home, where she had been bludgeoned and strangled several hours after her mum called 911 to say her daughter was missing with a ransom note being left behind.
“We have the killer’s DNA … so that’s hugely important and will ultimately solve this crime,” Ramsey said in 2020.
According to a 2008 report from the Colorado Bureau of Investigation, there were traces of DNA from an “unidentified male” that was not apparently consistent with other samples from an unknown male found on her underwear.
Kristen Mittelman, from specialist DNA testing lab Othram, says: "Because we’re purpose-built for this and this is all we do, we work with evidence that is otherwise intractable or was intractable in the past to other lab techniques.
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“We built methods that allows us to take the most degraded DNA, the most contaminated DNA, all types of inputs of forensic DNA, and build a profile out of it."
Ramsey believes Othram could solve the decades-old mystery. However, the company relies on private funds to test evidence, meaning that while they might have the technology to solve cold cases – but not the funding.
He says that DNA expert CeCe Moore could also help bring his sister's killer to justice: "For good reason people listen when CeCe Moore talks,
"She has cracked 200 cold cases. Why won’t Boulder Police sit down and listen to experts? Doesn’t cost anything to listen."
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Moore, from DNA testing lab Parabon Nanolabs, says she receives “literally thousands of emails about JonBenet's case,” and she believes that advanced testing techniques could crack the case.
"I think it’s absolutely a solvable case if [Boulder police] has any DNA samples remaining,” Moore told The Sun.
"If the killer is of European ancestry, it might be identified in as little as hours.
"There are people all over the world that want her killer brought to justice, who want to know what happened and who want the answers."
Neither Othram or Parabon have as yet been approached by Boulder police, representatives from the companies said.
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