JonBenet Ramsey grand jury thought to be winding up
October 7, 1999
BOULDER, Colorado (CNN) -- The grand jury investigating the 1996 beating and strangulation death of 6-year-old JonBenet Ramsey convened Thursday for what is expected to be one of its final sessions before its term expires October 20.
Members of the grand jury seemed to be more dressed up than usual as they arrived at the Justice Center on Thursday morning, and one woman member photographed newspeople outside the building.
The panel of eight women and four men assigned to the case more than a year ago began meeting about 9 a.m. and was expected to convene again Friday, according to Adams County District Attorney Bob Grant, one of four Colorado prosecutors advising Boulder District Attorney Alex Hunter in the case.
Friday might be last session
Grant said he knows of no sessions scheduled after Friday in the probe, and he expects the grand jury to wrap up its probe as early as next week. Suzanne Laurion, spokeswoman for the Boulder district attorney's office, would not comment on how soon the grand jury might complete its work.
"The grand jury proceedings are secret, and we just don't know," she told CNN.
When the grand jury does finish, it can issue an indictment, decide against charging anybody, issue a report on its investigation or simply go home. If no indictment is issued, prosecutors could still continue the investigation, now nearly three years old.
What is known
JonBenet, a onetime "Little Miss Colorado," was found dead in her home the day after Christmas in 1996. Police had been called to the home after her mother, Patsy Ramsey, found a 2 1/2-page ransom note demanding money for the return of her daughter.
It was not until several hours later that JonBenet's father, John Ramsey, and a friend found the child's body in a closed basement room. She had been strangled and beaten to death, an autopsy showed. The writer of the ransom note never was identified.
Nobody has ever been charged in the case, though authorities have said the parents, who were not called as witnesses in the grand jury investigation, remained "under an umbrella of suspicion."
Other family members have testified, including JonBenet's older brother, Burke, now 12, who was in the house when her "disappearance" was first discovered; and John Ramsey's two grown children by a previous marriage, John Andrew, 23, a college student in Boulder at the time of the slaying; and Melinda Bennett Ramsey, 27, who lives in Virginia.
The parents and Burke moved to Atlanta after JonBenet's death, but their precise whereabouts are not known. There is construction work going on at their house, and they are believed to be staying elsewhere in the Atlanta area.
JonBenet grand jurors expected to reconvene for first time in months
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