JonBenet Ramsey: Grand Jury Voted for Indictment of Parents in 1999

    September 19, 2013

Everyone remembers the murder of the young beauty queen, JonBenet Ramsey. The story made headlines and had people intrigued all over the United States.

According to JonBenet’s mother, Patsy Ramsey, the family had been attending a Christmas party the night before her disappearance. Supposedly, JonBenet fell asleep in the car on the ride home and her parents carried her upstairs to her bed. That was the last time they saw their daughter. The next morning, around 5:00 a.m., Patsy walked downstairs into her kitchen and discovered a ransom note saying that they had kidnapped their daughter and were holding her captive until they received a ransom of $118,000. The note said that they would make a phone call to set up an exchange of the money for JonBenet, however the call never came and neither did JonBenet.

JonBenet was later found in the basement of her home by her father, John Ramsey. “As I was walking through the basement, I opened the door to a room and knew immediately that I’d found her because there was a white blanket — her eyes were closed, I feared the worse but yet — I’d found her,” John said later.

John and Patsy were immediately considered suspects in the murder of their daughter, but due to lack of evidence, they were never charged. In December 1996, The Rocky Mountain News quoted an Assistant District Attorney as saying, “It was very unusual for a kidnap victim’s body to be found at home — it’s not adding up.” Police and investigators also made it clear that they were focusing on the parents as their primary suspects at the time.

Now, almost 17 years later, the case is still open and still remains a mystery. However, new information has been released regarding the parents in the case and has lead to a lawsuit. Daily Camera reporter, Charlie Brennan and the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press have sued the Boulder County District Attorney, Stan Garnett on Wednesday. They are requesting the release of an apparent indictment that was secretly voted on by the grand jury in the case in 1999.

“The plaintiffs believe… that the indictment is a criminal justice record that reflects official action by the grand jury, and accordingly that it is subject to mandatory disclosure upon request,” attorney Thomas B. Kelley wrote. “Alternatively, they argue the indictment should be disclosed to the public because such disclosure would serve the public interest in government transparency and not be contrary to the public interest nor cause undue adverse effect upon the privacy of the individual.”

Garnett has previously rejected this request on two different occasions. “We will respond to the motion in a pleading in court,” Garnett said. “Protecting the integrity of the grand jury process is important to every district attorney.”

The indictment was never prosecuted because the District Attorney, Alex Hunter, refused to sign the document saying: “I and my prosecution task force believe we do not have sufficient evidence to warrant the filing of charges against anyone who has been investigated at this time.”

Image via Wikimedia Commons