Investigators Claim to Find Record of John Mark Karr's Lost Child Porn

Investigators found a mirror image of lost computer data containing child pornography evidence against former JonBenet Ramsey slaying suspect John Mark Karr, a Sonoma County prosecutor said Friday.

"A late breaking development," Judge Cerena Wong said at the start of the hearing on whether five misdemeanor counts should be dismissed against Karr.

The find was announced two days after prosecutor Joann Risse said Karr's computer hard drive and a copy of the contents were missing.

Karr's lawyers asked to have the charges dismissed after the Sonoma County Sheriff's Department said they lost Karr's computer.

Defense lawyer Gayle Gutekunst told the judge Wednesday that she has no way to properly defend Karr nor would prosecutors be able to make a case against him because "the crime scene is gone."

Karr, who was not required to be in court, was absent from the hearing.

Three hard drives, a laptop computer, diskettes and a zip drive were seized from Karr's home when he was arrested in 2001, but he fled before his trial.

Karr rejected a plea deal and remains jailed in lieu of $200,000 bail.

Investigators testified earlier this week that they've discovered more child pornography on 100 diskettes, CDs and a removable disk drive taken from Karr in 2001. But Wong said the testimony was irrelevant because Karr has not been charged with any crime in connection with those images.

Wong said she would also consider whether to unseal police records in the case in light of the lost evidence. Wong sealed the records last month when Risse said investigators were still examining the computer, but said the prosecutor misled her after it was revealed the evidence was missing.

The prosecutor admitted she knew the computer was missing Aug. 30.

Karr, a 41-year-old former schoolteacher, was arrested in Thailand last month after suggesting he killed JonBenet, a 6-year-old beauty queen, in her Boulder, Colo., home in 1996. He was returned to the U.S., but the Ramsey case quickly collapsed after DNA failed to connect him to the crime.