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Ramseys Lash Out At Police

The parents of murdered 6-year-old JonBenet Ramsey are saying a grand jury investigation would be fine as long as the behavior of the police on the case is also considered.

Lawyers for John and Patsy Ramsey lambasted police in a letter to District Attorney Alex Hunter on Monday, saying the family "is eager to assist" now that the investigation has been turned over to "objective and competent professionals."

The letter contains the first public comment from the Ramseys since police recommended last Thursday that Hunter convene a grand jury to look into the 1996 death of the 6-year-old that has drawn national attention.

The letter said police should have no role in a grand jury investigation and instead should be a target.

"In our view, the deliberate leaks of supposedly confidential investigative information as well as outright smears of the Ramseys is serious misconduct," the lawyers said.

"No sane persons would continue to deal with a police department bent on scapegoating them."

Police spokeswoman Jennifer Bray had no comment.

Hunter must analyze evidence and determine whether a grand jury is appropriate. He declined to comment on the letter.

A grand jury can be used to obtain sworn testimony, to obtain evidence not available through routine investigation and to seek indictments. Grand jury proceedings, which are secret, are sometimes used to force uncooperative witnesses to testify.

The Ramseys remain under suspicion in connection with the death of their daughter, whose body was found in the family's Boulder home Dec. 26, 1996. Ramsey found his daughter's body about eight hours after Mrs. Ramsey said she found a ransom note demanding $118,000.

The Ramseys have had a tumultuous relationship with police, and their lawyers have accused investigators of focusing only on JonBenet's parents.

By Jennifer Mears
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