JonBenet Probe May Deepen

Boulder County prosecutor Alex Hunter met with Colorado Gov. Bill Owens and a special task force for four hours Monday to review the investigation into JonBenet Ramsey's death and decide if a special prosecutor is needed.

After the meeting ended at 9 p.m., Owens said he needed more time before making that decision, reports CBS Station KCNC-TV in Denver.

"It will be some time," he said, as prosecutors and the task force filed out of the state Senate hearing room where the meeting was held.

Owens' chief of staff said the group may meet again.

Owens convened a task force to take a second look at the case after the grand jury failed to issue any indictments following a 13-month investigation.

JonBenet Ramsey
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The two groups met at the state Capitol in a Senate hearing room with unter and his team on one side of the conference table and Owens and his task force on the other.

Neither side would comment before the session began.

After the grand jury was dismissed last week, police said that JonBenet's parents, John and Patsy Ramsey, remain under an "umbrella of suspicion" in the 1996 slaying of JonBenet, 6, at their Boulder home. Hunter said Thursday they have not been eliminated from the investigation.

The Ramseys have insisted they are innocent.

Early on Dec. 26, 1996, Patsy Ramsey told police she found a ransom note demanding $118,000 for her daughter's safe return. Eight hours later, JonBenet's father said he found his daughter's body in the basement.

John and Patsy Ramsey remain under an "umbrella of suspicion."

At a news conference to discuss the decision not to indict, Hunter said he would work with Owens to decide if an independent investigation is warranted.

Meanwhile, the Ramseys have hired a prominent Atlanta libel lawyer to pursue possible lawsuits over stories written about themselves and their son.

Lawyer L. Lin Wood is best known for winning more than $500,000 from NBC for Richard Jewell, once suspected in the 1996 Olympic bombing in Atlanta.

Wood also won a settlement for Jewell in a suit against cable news giant CNN and is currently representing him in a case against the Atlanta Journal Constitution.

"I can confirm that I have been retained by John and Patsy Ramsey in connection with potential civil litigation on their behalf and on behalf of their son Burke," said Wood.

Wood said he was hired before last week's announcement that no one would be indicted in the Ramsey case. He would not say whom the Ramseys might sue.

A Boulder County grand jury considered evidence in the 1996 murder of JonBenet Ramsey for 13 months before being discharged Wednesday without issuing an indictment.

While John and Patsy Ramsey are suspects in the case, their son, 12-year-old Burke Ramsey, has been cleared by both Hunter and Boulder Police Chief Mark Beckner.