After nearly 30 years, one of the most famous cases could finally be solved.
JonBenet Ramsey’s brother is renewing his family’s appeal to Colorado Gov. Jared Polis to allow an independent agency to conduct DNA testing in the unsolved 1996 murder of his sister, who was 6, after a leading genetic investigator claimed she’s confident her team could help.
“Hi – @GovofCO. #Parabon and @CeCeLMoore is the premier shop in the world to successfully hunt #childkillers,” John Andrew Ramsey, JonBenet’s half-brother, tweeted Monday. “Let’s get to work! #jonbenet #boulderco.”
Parabon NanoLabs, the Virginia-based firm Ramsey mentioned in his tweet, has a track record of using complicated and innovative genetic genealogy research techniques to crack cold case murders.
Moore, Parabon’s chief genetic genealogist, said in an Australian “60 Minutes” interview Sunday that it could take as little as a few hours for her team to identify DNA collected at the crime scene in 1996. Ramsey retweeted the interview in his post.
“There are people all over the world that want her killer brought to justice, who want to know what happened and who want the answers,” Moore told the program.
The family has endorsed a Change.org petition calling on Polis to take aspects of the case away from Boulder police, who they say have declined to conduct DNA analysis on some evidence, which 25 years after the crime remains untested. The petition has garnered more than 10,000 signatures.
Prosecutors in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, announced last week that Parabon helped crack a brutal cold case murder from 1975.
Lancaster District Attorney Heather Adams announced charges against David Sinopoli, 68, in the 1975 murder of Lindy Sue Beichler, after police collected DNA from a discarded coffee cup at the Philadelphia International Airport.
Beichler was 19 when her aunt and uncle found her stabbed to death in the apartment she shared with her husband, who police ruled out as a suspect early in the investigation.
Nothing in the government’s Combined DNA Index System had matched the crime scene DNA.
But at a news conference announcing the arrest, Moore said that through extensive testing of DNA found in semen on Beichler’s panties, she was able to generate a “high-tech tip” that ultimately led police to a suspect who had not been on their radar.
Parabon’s research traced the crime scene DNA sample’s ancestry to a specific region of Italy. Then the team looked into which families had emigrated from there to the Lancaster County area, Moore said during the news conference.
The next step was determining which of those families had males who fell into the right age category. Investigators discovered Sinopoli had also lived in the same apartment complex as Beichler around the time of the murder.
After pulling his coffee cup out of a trash can at the airport, authorities said, they tested the DNA on it and found a match. They arrested Sinopoli on July 17, 46 years after the crime.
“This arrest would not have been possible without the assistance of CeCe Moore and Parabon NanoLabs,” Adams, the Lancaster DA, said the following day. “We are incredibly grateful for the work that they do and their commitment to securing justice for victims and their loved ones.
Boulder police and Colorado Gov. Jared Polis did not immediately respond to requests for comment.