FIRST ON FOX – For nearly 26 years, John Ramsey has been trying to figure out who killed his 6-year-old daughter, JonBenet Ramsey, in their Boulder, Colorado, home a day after Christmas in 1996.
Most recently, the 78-year-old father of five has been pushing the Boulder Police Department (BPD) to turn over evidence from the case, which has been in their possession since JonBenet's murder, to an independent agency with more advanced DNA testing capabilities than the Colorado government's. Ramsey also sent a letter to Colorado Gov. Jared Polis asking to meet in person.
"I am 78 now and realize that time for answers is running out," Ramsey said in his Oct. 3 letter to the governor. "The murder of my daughter can never be undone. There will never be peace or closure. But there can and should be justice. As a community, a state, and a nation, we should demand that from ourselves and our leaders. Whoever is responsible for this has lived the last 25 years in fear of being discovered; in fear that technology would one day evolve to the point that this homicide could be solved. That day, and that technology, are here now."
He continued: "Solving the murder of my daughter will not fill the void in my heart but it will identify and remove a demented and dangerous person from our midst and, in doing so, potentially protect the lives of other children. There is no higher responsibility of a governor than that. As an elected leader, but more importantly as a father, I respectfully ask you to do the right thing."
Ramsey sent the letter long with a Change.org petition titled "Justice for JonBenet" that has garnered nearly 29,000 signatures from across the country asking BPD to hand over evidence. There were 26,000 signatures on the petition at the time Ramsey shared it with Polis.
The petition asks that Polis direct BPD "to move all DNA samples and crime scene evidence that may contain samples to an independent, outside agency of your choosing," which "would then work with a private forensics lab, like Othram or Parabon Nanolabs, that utilizes proven, cutting-edge technology to get these samples analyzed and sequenced," Rasmey wrote in his letter.
Read the full letter here:
Ramsey told Fox News Digital that the governor has not responded to him directly as of Tuesday.
JonBenet's mother reported the 6-year-old missing to police on the morning of Dec. 26, 1996, after finding a lengthy ransom note demanding $118,000 in exchange for JonBenet. John Ramsey found her body later that same day. She died of homicide by asphyxiation due to strangulation and blunt force trauma to the head. Her killer has yet to be identified.
Ramsey is specifically asking Polis to "insert himself" into the case and "make a couple of things happen": "One is to test the crime scene samples that we know have not been tested for DNA evidence and … employ an outside, cutting edge lab to do that," he said.
"[T]he FBI told us this six or eight months ago: 'We don't have the latest technology that is only available in these outside labs,' and that's where we need to go. And so we want that to be done," Ramsey explained. "And then to hopefully … take that to the public genealogy database and work that database for information that's been very successful on some very old cold cases."
The governor's press secretary, Conor Cahill, told Fox News Digital that Polis' office has received Ramsey's letter, but he did not say whether the governor intends to meet with Ramsey.
The Colorado Bureau pf Investigation (CBI) "continues to collaborate with the Boulder Police Department and the DA’s office on this case," Cahill said.
Cahill continued: "In addition to talking with private DNA labs, [BPD] will be consulting with the Colorado Cold Case Review Team in 2023. The Cold Case Review Team is comprised of professional investigative, analytical, and forensic experts from across the state. The Review Team is another tool to help further cold case homicide investigations, including making recommendations based on best practices in the investigative field."
Ramsey previously told Fox News Digital that BPD's Nov. 9 announcement about its decision to consult with the Colorado Cold Case Review Team "sounded like more of the same, and that's not what we need."
Ramsey does think that his recent efforts to shed new light in the case in recent years may have helped inspire BPD's decision to consult the cold case team, but he's waiting for something more, and is willing to pursue potential legal action if significant developments in the case are not made soon.
Even after 26 years have passed without a suspect or any significant leads in his daughter's case, Ramsey is also more hopeful for answers than ever and "overwhelmed by the interest and supportive people that were behind us and that we can leverage," as seen on the petition he sent to Polis, Ramsey said.
He is hoping to find out more about a fellow Boulder, Colorado, father who recently spoke to the U.S. Sun about his daughter's sexual assault case that has similarities to JonBenet's murder case.
The father identified only as "Amy's father" in the U.S. Sun and a 2004 CBS article. The victim, Amy, was sexually assaulted by an unknown suspect who broke into her family's home — and her bedroom — on the night of Sept. 14, 1997. The girl reportedly attended the same Boulder dance school as JonBenet, the late private investigator Pete Peterson told CBS 18 years ago.
"The first thing that occurred to us was that it was the parallel to the Ramsey case because it was exactly the same situation," Amy's father told CBS. "I think someone, somewhere, drew a bead on her. Obviously had us under surveillance that we were not aware of."
BPD said they were made aware of the 1997 case after the U.S. Sun's report. Amy's father and Ramsey share similar frustrations with BPD's investigations into their daughters' respective cases.
"They were completely uninterested," Amy's dad told the outlet. "They didn't care about this at all ... they would just lie, telling us they'd look into this or that – but they hadn't."
Ramsey does not know who "Amy's father" is but has read about him online. He told Fox News Digital that BPD "dropped the ball" in both of their cases, and he believes Amy's story "needs to be highlighted" due to the similarities it shares with his daughter's murder case, despite the fact that Amy was not killed.
Authorities are asking anyone with information related to the JonBenet investigation to contact 303-441-1974, BouldersMostWanted@bouldercolorado.gov or Northern Colorado Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).