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Back to 1996 Headlines


12/29/1996

Authorities still mum on killing of 6-year-old

By Jonathan Shikes
The Daily Times-Call

BOULDER -- The home of a six-year-old girl who was found strangled to death on the day after Christmas is so large that it will take police until Monday morning to finish searching it.

More than 30 officers from the Boulder Police Department, and the Boulder County Sheriff's Office pored over the 15-room brick house in the well-to-do University Hills neighborhood Saturday.

``This is a large residence and the search is being conducted in stages,'' said Boulder police spokeswoman Leslie Aaholm. ``It's over 4,000 square feet. That's why it's taking so long to go through all that.''

On Thursday, the body of JonBenet Ramsey was discovered in the family basement eight hours after the girl's mother reported her daughter missing and discovered a ransom note from apparent kidnappers.

Police were making plans to deal with demands in the note when an undisclosed family member discovered the body in the basement. On Friday, Boulder County Coroner John Meyer ruled the death a homicide by asphyxiation. It was the first murder of the year in Boulder, Aaholm said.

Police have not released the contents of the note or any information about who found the body, where in the basement it was discovered or whether there was any forcible entry into the house.

They have also said there are no suspects in the case yet. But they are not ruling anyone out as a potential suspect, including family members, Aaholm said. ``Nobody's been ruled in/j

``The police need to hold it (information) close to their chest so they can proceed without tainting the situation,'' she added.

``In a case like this, it is understandable that people are anxious for a resolution; however, it is important for the police to carefully investigate all leads and that sometimes means presenting a limited amount of information to the public.''

JonBenet's parents, John and Patsy Ramsey , and their 10-year-old son have been placed under protective custody. John Ramsey has two grown children who do not live with the family.

Mrs. Ramsey is a former Miss West Virginia, and Mr. Ramsey is the president of Access Graphics, a subsidiary of Lockheed Martin Corp. and one of Boulder's largest companies.

Access Graphics employs 380 people in Boulder and recently celebrated its first $1 billion in revenues, but police said there is no indication the slaying is linked to Ramsey 's business.

JonBenet, a former Little Miss Colorado, has been described as a bright and charming girl. She was a student at High Peaks Elementary School. No memorial service has been scheduled yet.