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Hunter downplays two-

by B.J.Plasket
Daily Times-Call

BOULDER While police, prosecutors and FBI agents gathered in Boulder on Tuesday to discuss forensic evidence in the JonBenet Ramsey murder case, District Attorney Alex Hunter downplayed the importance of the two-day gathering.

"We're just continuing the effort in this case," Hunter said as he entered Boulder Police headquarters for an afternoon session.

"We're just chipping away," he added. "This is a review of what has been done." He said the meeting is not a "pulse check" on the case."

Hunter said the "best (scientific) people in the world" are involved in analyzing tests on what he earlier called "hair, fiber and other forensic evidence" from the crime scene.

He also said there are "new things being looked at," but declined to say what they are.

Hunter, whose 28-year tenure as DA will end in January, cautioned against too much optimism in the case.

"I don't want to mislead anyone," he said. "I want people to understand that there are cases that take a while."

Hunter also took issue with those who say the case is not moving forward.

"A lot of people think this case is over," he said. "It's not."

He also took a shot at district attorney candidate Ben Thompson, who has promised arrests if elected. Hunter said the case is not strong enough to file, in spite of "what this character is suggesting." Thompson earlier in the day held a press conference outside Hunter's office to reiterate his promise.

Hunter was noncommittal, however, about the future of the case. He said Ramsey prosecutor Michael Kane, who now lives in Pennsylvania but is in Boulder for the meetings, will remain under his part-time contract "as long as it makes sense to me and makes sense to the county commissioners."

He said the FBI will also continue to be involved in the case.

Earlier on Tuesday, members of the prosecution team also met with officials of the Colorado Bureau of Investigation, but would not acknowledge the meeting.