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Slain 6-year-old Colorado girl was sexually molested, source says

JonBenet Ramsey

Reports: Ransom note matches notebook paper found in child's home

January 4, 1997
Web posted at: 8:30 p.m. EST

BOULDER, Colorado (CNN) -- A 6-year-old Colorado girl who was found dead in her parents' house last week had been sexually molested, a source close to the case told CNN.

Investigators told the girl's parents, John and Patricia Ramsey, she had been molested, according to the source who asked not to be identified. Investigators have refused to publicly comment on that aspect of the case despite newspaper reports quoting anonymous sources.

Also Saturday, the Denver Post reported that the person who killed 6-year-old JonBenet Ramsey apparently wrote a ransom note on paper from a pad found inside the family's house.

The Post cited unidentified sources as saying the three-page ransom note appears to have been torn from a notebook that was already in the family's house where the girl was found dead on December 26.

The Post's sources said investigators are almost certain that the note, which promised the girl's safe return in exchange for $118,000 in cash, was taken from a pad police recovered.

No signs of break-in

The Rocky Mountain News, also quoting anonymous sources, reported that the alarm system at the Ramsey home was not operating on the night JonBenet's body was found.

However, police investigator Sgt. Larry Mason said Saturday no evidence has been found suggesting the house was broken into, and investigators have no suspects.

"The investigation is still ongoing and the investigation is still wide open. We haven't focused on any suspects to date," Mason told reporters at a news conference in Roswell, Georgia, outside Atlanta, where the Ramseys lived before moving to Boulder.

After their daughter's funeral in Atlanta, the Ramseys stayed with relatives in Roswell for several days before returning to Colorado.

Mason said evidence gathered from the crime scene has been shipped to a laboratory where the Colorado Bureau of Investigation will analyze the material. He also urged anyone with relevant information to call a police hot line: 1-800-444-3776.

JonBenet disappeared before dawn on December 26 after her mother, Patricia Ramsey, discovered a ransom note on the back stairs of their home.

Eight hours later, as the family and police were trying to comply with the ransom demand, John Ramsey found his daughter's body in the basement. There was a cord around her neck and duct tape over her mouth.

Interview with police pending

Police have yet to interview the dead girl's parents about the murder and have refused to release many details of the slaying, saying only that the former beauty contest winner -- Little Miss Colorado -- died of asphyxiation.

The Rocky Mountain News quoted anonymous sources as saying JonBenet's skull was fractured before the killer strangled her by twisting a stick to tighten a cord around her neck.

Although the Ramseys returned to Colorado Friday, they did not return to their house. Boulder police spokesperson Leslie Aaholm said the Ramseys had been in contact with police through their attorneys.

"They're in the process of setting up an interview," Aaholm said.


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