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Child pageant star JonBenet Ramsey’s killer ‘identified within hours if police release DNA’

The six-year-old was found dead in her home on December 26th 1996.


JonBenet Ramsey

JonBenet Ramsey

JonBenet Ramsey

A scientist has said that she is confident that the killer of six-year-old JonBenet Ramsey could be identified within a matter of hours.

America’s leading genetic genealogist Cece Moore has said she is confident she could solve the mystery if police in Colorado release DNA found on the young girl’s body.

One crucial piece of evidence found on her underwear was the DNA of an unknown male.

Her father John Bennett Ramsey is petitioning for police to release the DNA sample so that it can undergo testing at the private laboratory Parabon Nanolabs where Cece Moore, who has helped solve almost 100 cases, is the head of the genealogy unit.

“It might only be a matter of hours before that DNA contributor is identified,” Moore told 60 Minutes Australia.

The process would involve comparing the DNA to other profiles taken during consumer DNA testing and then uploaded open database GEDmatch.

If the killer’s profile is already in the system, the match can be made automatically.

However, if their DNA profile is not available, Cece and her team of genealogists would be able to build a family tree in order to track down the suspect, which could take months.

“There are people all over the world that want to see her killer brought to justice, who want to know what happened, and who want the answers,” Moore added.

"People write to me every day and ask why I haven’t solved it… I can’t solve it if I don’t have access to the DNA.”

In a petition to Colorado governor Jared Polis, the family of the young girl begged him to help.

“Jared Polis, you are the only person with enough power and independence in the state to put Ramsey DNA testing decisions in the hands of a new agency that’s free from Boulder’s significant history with the case.”

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“Since her death in 1996, advances in DNA have allowed for testing of even trace amounts of severely degraded samples,” the petition continues.

“Combined with innovation in fornsic genetic genealogy (which led to the arrest of the Golden State Killer), new arrests and identifications in cold cases are happening across the country at an unprecedented rate.”

Explaining the process of using genetic genealogy, Paul Holes, who pioneered the technique to solve the Golden State Killer case previously said: “With genetic genealogy, first you have to have a DNA profile of your offender, or the person you’re looking for. With the Golden State Killer, he had left DNA behind.”

Taking your DNA sample you get a special DNA type profile, not a law enforcement style profile, but a profile used by ancestry websites, in order to link relatives together in their database.”

Once the profile is created, ancestry websites can be searched for any matches that share DNA with the person you’re looking for.

“Of course there's a lot of privacy issues that people are concerned about, but I have to really emphasise that I, as a law enforcement officer, during this process, never had access to anyone’s genetic information in these databases.”

“I am no different than a typical user of an ancestry website, getting an email saying ‘we found a third cousin’.”

“All it does is give me this random list of say 10 third cousins of the Golden State Killer, at this point it is then pure genealogy work, anybody can do this.”

“You just start building family trees of the people in the list,” Holes explained.

JonBenet, who was a child pageant queen was found dead in the basement of her home in Boulder, Colorado on the morning of December 26th 1996.

Her body was discovered by her father just hours after the family awoke to a strange ransom note explaining that she had been kidnapped for ransom by a ‘small foreign faction.’

The note warned the family not to contact police and demanded $118,000.

However, it appears the young girl never made it out of her home before she was bludgeoned and strangled to death.

Her death was ruled a homicide, but nobody has ever been convicted of her murder.

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