Almost 16 years ago, the nation was left puzzled by the death of JonBenet Ramsey, a 6-year-old pageant queen found dead in her basement the day after Christmas.
A grand jury was assembled to decide who, if anyone, should be indicted in her murder.
After the grand jury was sworn to secrecy and dismissed, the then-Boulder County District Attorney Alex Hunter told the media that there was not “sufficient evidence to warrant the filing of charges.”
However, there are now reports that the grand jury voted to indict JonBenet’s parents, John and Patsy Ramsey. Hunter decided not to sign off on the indictment.
A few members of the grand jury have anonymously come forward and confirmed to the Boulder Daily Camera that the final decision of the jury was to indict the parents.
One juror told the newspaper that the grand jurors didn’t know exactly how the murder happened, but they felt like the Ramseys could have done more to stop JonBenet’s death.
The Ramseys have always maintained that they had no involvement in their child's death.
Former prosecutor Bill Wise, who worked in the district attorney’s office at the time of the grand jury proceedings, agrees with Hunter’s decision. “The state of the evidence in that case was just inadequate to file a charge, in my opinion, and that obviously was Hunter's opinion too,” he told the Boulder Daily Camera.
Lin Wood, the Ramsey family attorney, said the family had expected to be indicted in 1999 and he praised the former district attorney’s actions. “I think [this decision] elevated Alex Hunter to the status of a hero for fulfilling his job and preventing this miscarriage of justice.”
Patsy Ramsey died in 2006 from ovarian cancer and John Ramsey has since remarried. Wood says his clients have been exonerated and is hopeful that the use of DNA will help bring the killer to justice one day.