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S P E C I A L JonBenet Ramsey Case

Police: Ramseys remain under 'umbrella of suspicion'

JonBenet Ramsey
JonBenet Ramsey   
December 5, 1997
Web posted at: 1:35 p.m. EST (1835 GMT)

BOULDER, Colorado (CNN) -- As the first anniversary of JonBenet Ramsey's death looms, the lead police investigator said Friday that her parents "remain under an umbrella of suspicion" and will be questioned again. (icon 187K/16 sec. AIFF or WAV sound)

"We've uncovered a lot of new information, we have a lot of new questions" for John and Patsy Ramsey, Cmdr. Mark Beckner said during a news conference. Beckner said police also want to re-interview the couple's 11-year-old son Burke.

The strangled body of the 6-year-old beauty queen was found in the basement of her parents' Boulder home on December 26, 1996. The Ramseys, who have proclaimed their innocence, have turned to newspaper ads in their own effort to find their daughter's killer.

Asked if JonBenet's murder would ever be solved, Becker responded, "I am confident it will be ... We are making progress and we are moving forward."

Watch the entire news conference
icon 22 min. VXtreme video
John and Patsy Ramsey
John and Patsy Ramsey   

He said police had requested the interviews to question the Ramseys about information gathered since the last interviews six months ago. (icon 298K/26 sec. AIFF or WAV sound)

Asked if Burke Ramsey is a suspect, Beckner said, "We are treating him as a witness."

Beckner has been involved in the investigation since October, when he took over from Cmdr. John Eller. Under his direction, he said, the investigative team has reviewed information collected so far and is working through a task list of 72 items.

Police are poring over more forensic findings and also want to re-interview significant witnesses and neighbors, Beckner said. The Ramseys moved to an Atlanta suburb in August.

Beckner said that at the end of the investigation, police will have three options: make an arrest, ask for a grand jury investigation or deactivate the case until new information is obtained. At this point, Beckner said, the police force has neither submitted a case for prosecution nor has it prepared an arrest warrant.


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