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Detective in Ramsey Case Quits

August 7, 1998

BOULDER, Colo. (AP) _ Claiming the district attorney’s office is ``thoroughly compromised,″ one of the original detectives assigned to investigate the slaying of JonBenet Ramsey has resigned ``in protest of this continuing travesty.″

Detective Steve Thomas, who has been on leave since late June, tendered his resignation from the Boulder Police Department on Thursday, accusing Alex Hunter’s office of sacrificing procedure for politics.

``I believe the district attorney’s office is thoroughly compromised,″ Thomas wrote in the eight-page resignation letter, which was obtained by ABC News.

``The primary reason I chose to leave is my belief that the district attorney’s office continues to mishandle the Ramsey case,″ Thomas wrote.

A spokeswoman for the district attorney’s office, Suzanne Laurion, said Thomas’ letter ``is outrageous and is substantially false and misleading.″

Thomas, a 13-year veteran of the department, was one of the investigators who pursued the case for a year and a half and turned it over to Hunter’s office in June, recommending that he convene a grand jury to compel witness testimony and evidence.

In the letter, Thomas, 36, accuses the district attorney’s office of ignoring evidence collected by investigators, blocking police efforts to subpoena the parents’ telephone and credit card records and improperly sharing details of the case with Ramsey lawyers.

Thomas called for the appointment of an independent prosecution team to oversee the case. ``The time for intervention is now,″ he said.

There have been no arrests since JonBenet, a 6-year-old Little Miss Colorado, was found beaten and strangled in the basement of her family’s Boulder home on Dec. 26, 1996.

Her parents, John and Patsy Ramsey, have proclaimed their innocence and have repeatedly accused the Boulder police of bias against them early in the investigation. Authorities say they remain under suspicion.

Boulder Police Chief Mark Beckner issued a statement Thursday saying he accepted Thomas’ resignation ``with regret″ and that he disapproved of Thomas’ criticism of Hunter’s office.

``I am disappointed that Steve felt the need to vent his frustrations in the investigation,″ Beckner said. ``I continue to have confidence in the investigative team, Alex Hunter, and special prosecutor Michael Kane.″

Ms. Laurion said DA officials planned to meet with Beckner today, and noted that Hunter’s office is working closely and sharing information with police.

She also said the case is at a critical juncture, saying that Hunter’s office has been ``looking very vigorously″ into a grand jury and reiterating that Hunter is leaning toward convening such a panel.

Attempts by The Associated Press to reach Thomas were unsuccessful; there is no listing for him in the Boulder telephone directory.

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