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Hunter collects 3 bears

by Kevin McCarthy
Daily Times-Call

BOULDER -- One week after posting a picture of a stuffed Santa Bear on the Internet in connection with the JonBenet Ramsey murder , the Boulder County District Attorney's office got the information it was looking for.

Three bears were turned over to District Attorney Alex Hunter's office, according to a statement issued Thursday afternoon.

Spokeswoman Suzanne Laurion would not say, however, if one of the bears was the one taken from JonBenet's bedroom after her murder .

Hunter's office received 130 e-mails, 160 phone calls, four faxes and 20 pieces of mail. ``We are confident we have identified the sources where this bear could have been obtained,'' Hunter said in the statement.

The DA's office has not said what role the teddy bear may play in the case.

``We're not commenting on the `why' questions,'' said Suzanne Laurion, Hunter's spokeswoman.

Authorities put a picture of the white teddy bear on the Internet in an attempt to get more information abut the manufacturer, distribution and sale of the toy.

There were about 28,000 hits on the Web site.

The foot-long stuffed toy bear was dressed in a Santa suit, and the picture resulted in some helpful hints from the public about where the toy was obtained, Laurion said.

It is information that investigators have been looking for since 6-year-old JonBenet was found beaten and strangled in her family's home the day after Christmas 1996.

Pam Paugh, the sister of JonBenet's mother, Patsy Ramsey , said in an interview Friday that a small brown pouch attached to the bear contained a note.

The note was not alarming, but in view of the circumstances it was both ``telling'' and ``a bit prophetic,'' Paugh said in an interview with the TV show ``Inside Edition.''

She speculated that the bear may have been used to lure JonBenet out of her room.

The toy was reportedly among stuffed animals found in JonBenet's room, but family members said it did not belong to the little girl.

Police have said JonBenet's parents, John and Patsy Ramsey , are under suspicion, but they maintain their innocence.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.