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BREAKING 3pm 7-9-08 Boulder, Colorado DA: DNA Test Clears Ramsey Family in JonBenet's Death
Wednesday, Jul 09, 2008 12:41pm
BOULDER, CO From CNN & KUSA (By: Tom Pace, Talk of the Town)  BREAKING: 3PM 7-9-08  It's now official, according to the Boulder Coloroado Distract Attorney: DNA tersts confirm the Ramsey family has been cleared as suspects in the death of 6 year-old JonBenet. 

KUSA - 9NEWS has learned that newly discovered DNA evidence in the JonBenet Ramsey murder case does not match any Ramsey family members or anyone in law enforcement DNA databases.  

The recent testing was done on a different area of the child's clothing and it matches previous DNA tested from the child's panties in 1997. It is DNA from a male. 

The discovery, from a new testing method, has prompted the Boulder District Attorney's office to release a letter officially clearing the Ramsey family, including John, Patsy and their immediate family of any involvement in the December 1996 death of JonBenet. 

District Attorney Mary Lacy met with John Ramsey and his defense attorneys, Bryan Morgan and Hal Haddon, on Wednesday morning to formally deliver the letter clearing the family of any involvement. (click here to view the letter)

The letter reads in part:

"We intend in the future to treat you as the victims of this crime, with the sympathy due you because of the horrific loss you suffered."

Lacy based her decision, according to the letter, on the results of new DNA samples secured and tested at the The Bode Technology Group Inc., in Lorton, Va. The new DNA "touch" analysis technology was not available in 1996 when the child was killed.

JonBenet Ramsey's body was found in the family home in Boulder on December 26, 1996. Her father found her body in a rarely used room in the basement of the home.

According to Boulder Police reports, the family got up early on the morning of December 26 to fly to Charlevoix, Mich. to visit family.

JonBenet's mother, Patsy Ramsey, found a ransom note (click here to see the ransom note) at the bottom of a spiral staircase about 5:30 or 6 that morning. Police were called, and searched the home, but the child's body wasn't found until another search of the home was done five hours later by John Ramsey.

In April of 1997, Boulder County District Attorney Alex Hunter declared the family under an "umbrella of suspicion" for the murder.

Nine years later, Patsy Ramsey died in June of 2006 after a 13-year battle with ovarian cancer.

New Evidence

The new DNA "touch" analysis tests were run on the leggings that went over the child's panties.

Boulder DA investigators and Lacy made the decision late last year to have the leggings tested at the Bode Lab. It is not clear if the leggings had been previously tested for DNA.

Boulder DA investigators considered the possibility that since the child was sexually assaulted, and was undressed and redressed, there was a possibility the perpetrator left skin cell samples. They believe that could have happened when he first pulled JonBenet's leggings down and then later back up. Investigators wanted to test to see whether DNA skin cells might be found in the waistband of the leggings.

The Bode Lab recovered DNA from the top portion of the leggings, on both the right and left legs, where the perpetrator would have put his hands to move the leggings. Those new DNA "touch" samples from the leggings match the DNA that was found in 1997 on the panties of the child.

The new DNA "touch" testing technology from the Bode Lab tests for DNA in cells left behind from the act of touching a person's clothing. (Bode Lab) At the time of JonBenet's death, technology for DNA testing on the child's panties used "swabs" from fluid obtained from skin and clothing to establish DNA identity.

The previous 1997 DNA "swab" testing of the child's panties found DNA in two separate areas.

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