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5/3/2001

Investigator: DNA links JonBenet’s killing to intruder, not her parents

The Associated Press

DENVER — JonBenet Ramsey ’s killer acted out a sexual fantasy that included tying the girl up to give the appearance of bondage, a retired investigator said on NBC’s “Today” show Wednesday.

Lou Smit, who worked on the case, also said unidentified DNA under JonBenet’s fingernails and on her underpants point to an intruder as the culprit, not her parents.

“Today” is airing parts of an interview with Smit over five days this week. The Colorado Springs man was coaxed out of retirement by former District Attorney Alex Hunter to help investigate the Dec. 26, 1996, death of 6-year-old JonBenet.

Smit quit the investigation in 1998 because he felt authorities were wrongly concentrating on the parents, John and Patsy Ramsey .

The Ramseys deny any involvement in their daughter’s death but police say they remain under suspicion. Investigators say JonBenet’s brother, Burke, isn’t a suspect.

JonBenet was found beaten and strangled in the basement of her parent’s Boulder home. John Ramsey found her body hours after Patsy Ramsey reported the girl missing and told police she found a ransom note demanding $118,000.

Smit said JonBenet was sexually assaulted, but authorities have never confirmed that.