What is Colorado Cold Case Review Team? 1996 murder of 6-yr-old JonBenet Ramsey to be reinvestigated

JonBenet's mother reported the 6-year-old missing to police on the morning of Dec 26, 1996, after finding a lengthy ransom note demanding $118,000

What is Colorado Cold Case Review Team? 1996 murder of 6-yr-old JonBenet Ramsey to be reinvestigated
JonBenet Ramsey was mysteriously murdered in her family's Boulder, Colorado, home in December 1996 (Jonbenet Ramsey/Facebook)
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BOULDER, COLORADO: As the investigation into the 1996 murder of six-year-old JonBenet Ramsey continues, police are now asking the Colorado Cold Case Review Team for help. The City of Boulder, Boulder Police Department, Boulder County District Attorney's Office, and the 20th Judicial District made the announcement in a joint press release Wednesday afternoon, Nov 9.

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The press release read, "The amount of DNA evidence available for analysis is extremely small and complex. The sample could, in whole or in part, be consumed by DNA testing. In collaboration with the CBI and the FBI, there have been several discussions with private DNA labs about the viability of continued testing of DNA recovered from the crime scene and genetic genealogy analysis. Those discussions will continue. Whenever there is a proven technology that can reliably test forensic samples consistent with the samples available in this case, additional analysis will be conducted." And further stated, "In addition to talking with the private DNA labs, the Boulder Police Department will be consulting with the Colorado Cold Case Review Team in 2023. The Cold Case Review Team is comprised of professional investigative, analytical, and forensic experts from across the state. The Review Team is another tool to help further cold case homicide investigations, including making recommendations based on best practices in the investigative field."

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What is the Colorado Cold Case Review Team?

The formation of this cold case investigation group stems from the initiative of a victims' organization called Families of Homicide Victims and Missing Persons (FOHVAMP), a group founded in 2001 that "initially organized with the idea of putting up billboards to get leads on its members' cases," according to Police Chief Magazine. In 2004, however, FOHVAMP focused more on promoting a state-funded cold case squad. It also created an inventory of cold cases across the state by asking each local agency for information, reports the website, which goes on to say that FOHVAMP soon joined forces with state legislators and "parallel bills were introduced to address the issue of cold case investigations at the state level" One of those bills called for the creation of a cold case investigation team at the Colorado Bureau of Investigation (CBI).

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In July 2007, legislation was passed that created the Cold Case Team at the CBI along with the Cold Case Task Force and the Cold Case Database. Following this, a 15-member panel was formed that included high-ranking law enforcement officials, district attorneys, and members of the attorney general’s office, the Colorado Bureau of Investigation, and FOHVAMP. Kathy E Sasak, deputy executive director of the Colorado Department of Public Safety said, "The formation of the team was the genesis of a cold-case task force formed in 2007 by the Colorado legislature to explore ways to solve 1,400 of the state’s cold cases," as per The Denver Post.

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According to the CBI, in 2009, several opportunities were created to investigate cold cases in Colorado. The review team, composed of professional investigative, analytical, and forensic experts from across the state, meets two to four times a year and often holds its meetings in the metro area. The team acts as a service provider, providing additional resources to investigative agencies while keeping the core of the investigation with the local agency.

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Details of Ramsey’s death

Ramsay was murdered mysteriously in the basement of her family's Boulder, Colorado, home on December 26, 1996, as previously reported. The official cause of death was ruled to be asphyxia by strangulation along with craniocerebral trauma. According to the Boulder Police Department, investigators have received, reviewed, or investigated more than 21,000 tips, letters and emails. They have traveled to 19 states as part of their investigation and have interviewed or spoken with more than 1,000 individuals, as of now.

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Anyone with information related to this investigation is asked to contact the tip line at 303-441-1974, [email protected], or Northern Colorado Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).

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