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Ramsey Grand Jury To Start Today

September 15, 1998

BOULDER, Colo. (AP) _ Authorities who have investigated JonBenet Ramsey’s death for nearly two years are hopeful a grand jury will do what they couldn’t: find sufficient evidence to make an arrest.

The four men and eight women who make up the Boulder County grand jury were expected to convene today, according to published reports.

``This is where we’ve wanted to be for quite some time,″ Police Chief Mark Beckner said Monday, without saying exactly when the panel would convene. ``The grand jury can be a good investigative tool and we hope there may be something else out there that we maybe haven’t gotten.″

In March, Beckner recommended to District Attorney Alex Hunter that the case be turned over to a grand jury, which has special powers to compel evidence and testimony.

No one has been arrested since JonBenet, 6, was found beaten and strangled in the basement of her family’s Boulder home on Dec. 26, 1996.

A grand jury will review evidence already collected and then can invoke its special powers to further the investigation. Once the grand jury completes its work it can recommend that the district attorney issue an indictment, or if it determines evidence is insufficient to indict someone it can file a report explaining how it reached that conclusion.

The case goes to the panel after months of criticism of Boulder law enforcement officials.

Police were accused of sloppy work for, among other things, allowing John Ramsey to search the house and find his daughter’s body.

The Ramseys, who now live in Atlanta, remain under suspicion in their daughter’s death, but proclaim their innocence. Attorneys for the Ramseys did not return phone calls seeking comment on the grand jury proceedings.

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