Watch CBS News

Ramseys Answer D.A. Questions

After months of silence, the parents of 6-year-old murder victim JonBenet Ramsey are talking again with investigators.

John and Patsy Ramsey have spent the last three days meeting with investigators in all-day interviews.

Reporter Phil Lebeau of CBS station KCNC reports no conditions were set on the questions. Each session was videotaped, and the Ramseys were questioned in different rooms at the same time.

Boulder District Attorney Alex Hunter said the interviews ended with an agreement that the Ramseys would provide "certain documents" to investigators.

Those could include medical, financial, and telephone records, said Adams County District Attorney Bob Grant, a member of Hunter's investigative team.

The case has drawn national attention as it dragged on for 18 months amid criticism of police and prosecutors and speculation about who killed the former Little Miss Colorado. Relations between the Ramseys and investigators, however, may be thawing.

The Ramseys "have pledged their full assistance to the district attorney's investigation," said an attorney for the family, Hal Haddon.

The Ramseys, who had refused police requests for new interviews and said they distrust Boulder detectives, were interviewed separately by representatives of the district attorney's office. The interviews were videotaped and shared with police.

Hunter would not comment on what, if any, new information was gained from the interviews that wrapped up Thursday. His office must also review interviews with JonBenet's 11-year-old brother, Burke, who was questioned in Atlanta June 10-12.

The need to analyze the new material "plus the identification of areas needing further investigation" likely will delay a decision about a grand jury, Hunter said.

Earlier this year, Boulder police turned their case over to Hunter, asking that he convene a grand jury to use its special subpoena powers to compel witness testimony and evidence. At that time, Hunter said he was leaning toward convening a grand jury and would make a decision by early July.

Recent developments do "not make it any more or less likely that I will decide to convene a grand jury to further investigate this case," he said.

John and Patsy Ramsey each were accompanied by an attorney and a private investigator during the questioning conducted at the Broomfield Police Department. They were interviewed separately.

Questions were not restricted, and the only condition demanded by the Ramseys was that "police not be in the room," said Suzanne Laurion, a spokeswoman for Hunter.

Attorneys for the family said they concluded Boulder detectives were not handling the investigation objectively, but now "hope and trust the investigation has turned a corner and is now in the hands of competent and objective investigators."

Police last interviewed the parents on April 30, 1997. In Januay, the Ramseys refused a police request for interviews unless they were allowed to review evidence.

"Although disappointed that our detectives were unable to conduct the interviews, we continue to work side-by-side with Mr. Hunter and his staff," said Boulder Police Cmdr. Mark Beckner, who took over the case in October.

The attorney representing Burke Ramsey said he was interviewed by a district attorney investigator without his parents present.

"He was interviewed with the full consent and cooperation of both of his parents, and there were no conditions placed on the questions," Atlanta attorney Jim Jenkins said.

There have been no arrests in the slaying of JonBenet, who was found beaten and strangled in the basement of the family home in Boulder on Dec. 26, 1996. Boulder police briefly talked to Burke that day and were allowed to watch while social workers interviewed him, but had not talked to him since then.

Authorities have said only that the Ramseys are under suspicion in their daughter's death. The Ramseys have denied any involvement.

The Ramseys have moved back to suburban Atlanta, where they lived until 1991. JonBenet is buried near their new home.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.