The family of JonBenet Ramsey has been formally cleared of any role in the 6-year-old’s 1996 murder, says a Colorado prosecutor, citing newly discovered DNA evidence, reports USA Today. The slaying triggered a global news media frenzy and a controversial investigation that long focused on the child’s parents, John and Patsy Ramsey, and JonBenet’s brother, Burke. Boulder, Co., District Attorney Mary Lacy said DNA evidence recovered from the child’s clothing pointed to an “unexplained third party.” Lacy apologized to the family for the suspicions that made their lives “an ongoing living hell.”
The new DNA evidence was recovered in March, using a relatively new technique known as “touch DNA,” in which genetic material was obtained from cell scrapings on long johns the child was wearing at the time of her death. That material matched an unknown male profile previously identified from two sites on the inside area of the child’s underwear.