Text of Boulder County District Attorney Mary Lacy’s letter to John Ramsey, released Wednesday by the prosecutor’s office:
July 9, 2008 - 7:02 pm
July 9, 2008
Mr. John Ramsey,
As you are aware, since December 2002, the Boulder District Attorney’s Office has been the agency responsible for the investigation of the homicide of your daughter, JonBenet. I understand that the fact that we have not been able to identify the person who killed her is a great disappointment that is a continuing hardship for you and your family.
However, significant new evidence has recently been discovered through the application of relatively new methods of DNA analysis. This new scientific evidence convinces us that it is appropriate, given the circumstances of this case, to state that we do not consider your immediate family including you, your wife, Patsy, and your son, Burke, to be under any suspicion in the commission of this crime. I wish we could have done so before Mrs. Ramsey died.
We became aware last summer that some private laboratories were conducting a new methodology described as "touch DNA." One method of sampling for touch DNA is the "scraping method." This is a process in which forensic scientists scrape places where there are no stains or other signs of the possible presence of DNA to recover for analysis any genetic material that might nonetheless be present. We contracted with the Bode Technology Group, a highly reputable laboratory recommended to us by several law enforcement agencies, to use the scraping method for touch DNA on the long johns that JonBenet wore and that were probably handled by the perpetrator during the course of this crime.
The Bode Technology laboratory was able to develop a profile from DNA recovered from the two sides of the long johns. The previously identified profile from the crotch of the underwear worn by JonBenet at the time of the murder matched the DNA recovered from the long johns at Bode.
Unexplained DNA on the victim of a crime is powerful evidence. The match of male DNA on two separate items of clothing worn by the victim at the time of the murder makes it clear to us that an unknown male handled these items. Despite substantial efforts over the years to identify the source of this DNA, there is no innocent explanation for its incriminating presence at three sites on these two different items of clothing that JonBenet was wearing at the time of her murder.
Solving this crime remains our goal, and its ultimate resolution will depend on more than just matching DNA. However, given the history of the publicity surrounding this case, I believe it is important and appropriate to provide you with our opinion that your family was not responsible for this crime. Based on the DNA results and our serious consideration of all the other evidence, we are comfortable that the profile now in CODIS (the Combined DNA Index System) is the profile of the perpetrator of this murder.
To the extent that we may have contributed in any way to the public perception that you might have been involved in this crime, I am deeply sorry: No innocent person should have to endure such an extensive trial in the court of public opinion, especially when public officials have not had sufficient evidence to initiate a trial in a court of law. I have the greatest respect for the way you and your family have handled this adversity.
I am aware that there will be those who will choose to continue to differ with our conclusion. But DNA is very often the most reliable forensic evidence we can hope to find and we rely on it often to bring to justice those who have committed crimes. I am very comfortable that our conclusion that this evidence has vindicated your family is based firmly on all of the evidence, including the reliable forensic DNA evidence that has been developed as a result of advances in that scientific field during this investigation.
We intend in the future to treat you as the victims of this crime, with the sympathy due you because of the horrific loss you suffered. Otherwise, we will continue to refrain from publicly discussing the evidence in this case.
We hope that we will one day obtain a DNA match from the CODIS data bank that will lead to further evidence and to the solution of this crime. With recent legislative changes throughout the country, the number of profiles available for comparison in the CODIS data bank is growing steadily. Law enforcement agencies are receiving increasing numbers of cold hits on DNA profiles that have been in the system for many years. We hope that one day soon we will get a match to this perpetrator. We will, of course, contact you immediately. Perhaps only then will we begin to understand the psychopathy or motivation for this brutal and senseless crime.
Mary T. Lacy
Twentieth Judicial District