How JonBenet Ramsey murder mystery could be 'solved in a matter of hours' thanks to DNA, expert reveals
THE smallest, most minute sample of DNA from the 25-year-old murder case of JonBenet Ramsey can solve one of the country's most infamous cold cases "in as little as a matter of hours," a genealogy expert told The Sun.
The six-year-old pageant queen was found dead in a gruesome scene on December 26, 1996, in her parents' Boulder, Colorado home, and her killer has never been brought to justice.
Her half-brother John Andrew Ramsey told The Sun in an exclusive interview that JonBenet was killed to fulfill a "fantasy" and pushed for law enforcement to take advantage of rapid advancements in forensic genealogy to find a suspect.
Decades-old cold cases across the country that were once considered hopeless dead ends are being solved weekly, and there aren't many American cold cases bigger than JonBenet's.
"I get literally thousands of emails about JonBenet's case," said CeCe Moore, Parabon's chief forensic genealogist and one of the most respected voices in the field since.
"It’s been such constant interest from all over the world," she told The Sun in an exclusive interview on Wednesday.
"I think it’s absolutely a solvable case if [Boulder police] has any DNA samples remaining.
"If the killer is of European ancestry, it might be identified in as little as hours."
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The smallest, most minute sample of DNA might be enough, said David Mittelman, the CEO of Othram, the first private lab specifically built to use the most cutting-edge technology and latest advancements in forensic genealogy to solve cold cases.
"All of our work is done in-house," Mittelman told The Sun in an exclusive interview.
"Forensic evidence is usually imperfect, there’s not a lot of it and at times it’s contaminated," Mittelman said.
"But we can use the smallest quantities of DNA that’s incredibly degraded, and get a hit."
Over the summer, Othram identified Stephanie Isaacson's killer after 32 years using only 120 picograms (or 0.12 nanograms) of DNA, which is the lowest quantity of DNA used to solve a homicide.
"In these cold cases, there aren't gobs of evidence. In the Stephanie Isaacson case, there was hardly any," Mittelman said.
"The technology is improving so fast. We are on the growth curve right now. This technology is in a constant state of iteration and improvement."
Both Moore and Mittelman said they believe the JonBenet Ramsey case can be solved if there's even a small amount of original DNA left that can be tested.
But both said they haven't been approached by Boulder police and can't get involved until they're asked.
Boulder police declined to comment.
GOLDEN STATE KILLER GOES TO PRISON
Genetic genealogy became the way of the future ever since the method identified the "Golden State Killer" as Joseph DeAngelo in April 2018.
He ultimately pleaded guilty to killing 13 people and committing dozens of rapes across California between 1973 and 1986.
"After the 'Golden State Killer' suspect, everyone learned GEDmatch and genetic genealogy," Moore said.
"I wanted to show genetic genealogy that it can be applied to cold cases. It’s an incredibly powerful tool."
Since then, Moore has helped solve nearly 200 cold cases across the country, and Othram has handled the highest amounts of DNA evidence.
"We want to address the cases where all leads have been exhausted," Mittelman said.
"These cases won't get left behind."
The Boulder Police Department was criticized for his handling of the case in the initial stages after the family was allowed to move the body.
They have since interviewed more than 1,000 people and received more than 21,000 tips, according to a statement released ahead of JonBenet's 25th anniversary.
Boulder police said in the statement they have not ruled out using DNA to solve the case but declined to comment further.
The department said it has been working with state investigators on “future DNA advancements” as the case progresses.
“As the Department continues to use new technology to enhance the investigation, it is actively reviewing genetic DNA testing processes to see if those can be applied to this case moving forward,” it said.
Monday's statement from the police said that there have been nearly 1,000 DNA samples taken already.
DNA helped to clear JonBenet's parents and brother but unfortunately came two years after mom Patsy had died of cancer.
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