October 26, 2014

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JonBenet Ramsey’s Parents Almost Indicted By 1999 Grand Jury; Court Papers Unsealed

JonBenet Ramsey’s Parents Almost Indicted By 1999 Grand Jury; Court Papers Unsealed


When JonBenet Ramsey, the 6-year-old beauty queen was found dead in the basement of her home, her parents – John Ramsey and Patsy Ramsey – were considered possible suspects in her murder, but were never indicted. According to court documents released on Friday, the 1999 grand jury had seen fit to indict the parents on related charges.

The grand jury didn’t name the Ramseys as the actual murderers of JonBenet, but instead moved to indict them on charges of child abuse resulting in death and accessory to a crime. Despite the grand jury’s suggestion, the Boulder district attorney at the time, Alex Hunter, opted to forgo the indictment, citing a lack of evidence.

In the recently released court documents, the jury alleged that the Ramsey’s "did ... permit a child to be unreasonably placed in a situation which posed a threat of injury to the child's life or health which resulted in the death of JonBenet Ramsey." The jury further implied that they “did ... render assistance to a person, with intent to hinder, delay and prevent the discovery, detention, apprehension, prosecution, conviction and punishment of such person for the commission of a crime, knowing the person being assisted has committed and was suspected of the crime of murder in the first degree and child abuse resulting in death."

The grand jury on the JonBenet case poured over evidence pertaining to her murder for over a year. Throughout that grueling process, they saw fit to charge the surviving parents. Not until Friday was the public made aware of the indictment they sought to levy against the Ramseys. The documents were released after local journalist Charlie Brennan sued for them to be unsealed.

JonBenet was found dead in her basement, a victim of strangulation and sexual assault, on Dec. 26, 1996. A ransom note, written on paper taken from the house, was found on the Ramsey property that requested $118,000 and made mention of the Ramsey’s private finances. After living under the suspicion of guilt for years, a DNA discovery in 2008 exhornorated the parents from JonBenet’s murder. The 17-year-old murder case is still open, but cold, and not currently being investigated.

– Chelsea Regan

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Read more: JonBenet Ramsey, Patsy Ramsey, John Ramsey, Courts


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