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JonBenet Ramsey Murder Fast Facts

CNN Editorial Research

Here is some background information about the JonBenét Ramsey murder investigation. The 6-year-old beauty pageant queen was found murdered in her Boulder, Colorado, home on December 26, 1996. No one has ever been charged in the case and the investigation is still open. Early suspicion fell on her parents, but they were exonerated after DNA at the scene was found to belong to a male unrelated to the Ramsey family.


Birth date: August 6, 1990

Birth place: Atlanta, Georgia

Birth name: JonBenét Ramsey

Parents: John and Patricia “Patsy” Ramsey

Siblings: Burke Ramsey; John Andrew Ramsey, (half-brother); Melinda Ramsey Long, (half-sister); Elizabeth Ramsey, (half-sister), died in 1992 at age 22

Other Facts

JonBenét was named after her father, John Bennett Ramsey, and her name is pronounced in a French style. (zhawn ben-AY)

She won the following beauty pageants – Little Miss Colorado, Little Miss Charlevoix, Colorado State All-Star Kids Cover Girl, America’s Royale Miss, and National Tiny Miss Beauty.

She is buried in Marietta, Georgia, beside her mother, who died from ovarian cancer in 2006, and her half-sister Elizabeth Ramsey, who died in a car crash in 1992.


December 26, 1996 – JonBenét is murdered in her Boulder, Colorado, home. Her body is found in her basement that same day. JonBenét’s mother, Patsy, says she found a ransom note demanding $118,000 for JonBenét’s return.

January 4, 1997 – Reports reveal that JonBenét’s skull had been fractured.

April 30, 1997 – Police conduct their first formal interviews with John and Patsy Ramsey.

December 1997 – Boulder police say John and Patsy Ramsey remain under “an umbrella of suspicion.”

January 15, 1998 – JonBenét’s parents decline to participate in a second interview with detectives, saying that they won’t cooperate unless police allow them to review evidence in the case.

October 13, 1999 – Boulder County District Attorney Alex Hunter states that no indictments will be issued due to a lack of evidence in the case.

December 2003 – A new DNA sample is submitted to the FBI database in the hope of finding new leads.

June 24, 2006 – Patsy Ramsey, age 49, dies of ovarian cancer.

August 16, 2006 – Officials announce that 41-year-old John Mark Karr has been arrested in Bangkok, Thailand as a suspect in the case. Karr allegedly told an American investigator that he drugged JonBenét and sexually assaulted her before accidentally killing her. Prosecutors later drop the case after DNA tests fail to link him to the crime scene.

July 9, 2008 – Boulder County District Attorney Mary Lacy says no one in the Ramsey family is considered a suspect and formally apologizes in a letter to John Ramsey.

February 2009 – The Boulder Police Department resumes its status as the lead agency investigating the case.

October 2, 2010 – Police investigators conduct new rounds of interviews.

January 27, 2013 – The Boulder Daily Camera reports that in 1999 the grand jury voted to indict John and Patsy Ramsey on charges of child abuse resulting in death, but Hunter decided there was not enough evidence to file charges and did not sign the indictment.

December 28, 2016 – After CBS airs a docu-series about the case suggesting that JonBenét’s brother, Burke Ramsey, may have been the culprit, Burke files a $250 million defamation lawsuit against the network, the production company that made the documentary and one of the experts featured in the special, Dr. Werner Spitz. Burke had filed a separate defamation lawsuit against Spitz in October, stemming from a comment the doctor made during a radio interview. John Ramsey later files his own suit against CBS in Michigan state court.

January 2, 2019 – Following an undisclosed settlement, Michigan Circuit Court Judge David Groner signs an order of dismissal in the defamation lawsuit filed by Burke against CBS. Court documents appear to show that John Ramsey’s separate lawsuit against the media company is also settled and dismissed on the same day.

December 20, 2021 – The City of Boulder releases a statement saying they have processed more than 1,500 pieces of evidence and analyzed nearly 1,000 DNA samples related to the child’s murder. In the release, Boulder Police Department say they actively “use new technology to enhance the investigation” and check regularly for DNA matches in order to solve the case.

May 2, 2022 – In a petition sent to Colorado Governor Jared Polis, John Ramsey is asking the governor to intervene and let an outside agency take over DNA testing in the ongoing investigation. The petition claims Boulder Police have not worked fast enough to test the DNA evidence, and “given the lack of progress” the petitioners are asking the governor to “move DNA decisions in this case away from the BPD to an independent agency so that JonBenét has a last chance at the justice she deserves.” The office of Gov. Polis’ office says it is reviewing a petition asking him to intervene in the investigation.

November 9, 2022 – The Boulder Police Department and Boulder County District Attorney’s Office announce they will be consulting with the Colorado Cold Case Review Team in 2023 to help further the investigation.

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