Changes made in JonBenet investigative team
October 10, 1997
Web posted at: 2:30 p.m. EDT (1830 GMT)
In this story:
BOULDER, Colorado (CNN) -- Boulder's police chief said Friday
he is bolstering the team investigating the murder of
JonBenet Ramsey, and has replaced the lead investigator. Tom
Koby also admitted that the early stages of the probe should
have been handled differently. (272K/24 sec. AIFF or WAV sound)
At a news conference carried live on CNN, he also
acknowledged friction between his department and the Boulder
district attorney's office, but said that was to be expected
because of the adversarial nature of the criminal justice
Cmdr. Mark Beckner will take over the 9-month-old
investigation from Cmdr. John Eller, who had been running the
detective bureau of the Boulder Police Department while
overseeing the Ramsey probe. The combined duties were too
much to handle, Koby said. He also added three detectives,
boosting the number of case investigators to eight.
Beckner, who had been running the patrol division, will
concentrate solely on the beating and strangulation of the
6-year-old beauty queen, whose body was found in the basement
of her family's home on December 26.
Koby said investigators met with FBI agents in Quantico,
Virginia, to review their work and came away with a clear
idea of what still needs to be done. The changes will "better
enable us to finish the work we still have to do," he said.
He gave no deadline for finding a suspect, or making an
Boulder District Attorney Alex Hunter has said that the
girl's parents, John and Patsy Ramsey, are a focus of the
investigation, but the parents have criticized police for
spending too much time investigating them and not trying to
find the real killer.
Acknowledging problems in the initial hours of the
investigation, Koby said police first thought they were
dealing solely with a kidnapping. It wasn't immediately
clear "that we were really dealing with a homicide."
"It is accurate to say that if we had it to do all over
again, we would do it differently. It is also accurate to say
that we responded well to what we were confronted with."
In discussing the relationship between police investigators
and prosecutors, Koby announced he is moving the police end
of the probe back to police headquarters, away from members
of the district attorney's staff.
Members of the prosecution team will advise police, but won't
be involved day-to-day, Koby said.
It was not the first investigative reorganization since
JonBenet's death. Detective Linda Arndt, the first detective
at the murder scene, was removed from the case. And a
sheriff's detective on loan to the district attorney's office
since April has returned to his regular duties.
On Thursday, Hunter said he is confident the killer will be
"We believe in this case, and believe the work in progress
will allow us to get an ending, a solution," the district
attorney told county commissioners, who were hearing his
request for an extra $145,178 for the investigation.
The prosecutor's office already has spent about $110,000, and
the Police Department has spent $186,418.