New DNA analysis has definitively cleared the parents and brother of the child beauty queen JonBenet Ramsey who was murdered on Boxing Day in 1996.
JonBenet was found bludgeoned and strangled to death in the basement of her parents' home in Boulder, Colorado, at the age of six. She had been reported missing eight hours earlier.
Videos of the girl competing in beauty pageants and lingering suspicions surrounding her wealthy parents fuelled the story.
In a statement aimed at ending the suspicions that have hung over relatives of JonBenet, the authorities said new testing techniques on male DNA found on her clothes had ruled out any family members.
No one has been charged with JonBenet's murder and her mother, Patsy, died of ovarian cancer in 2006 while trying to clear her name.
Mary Lacy, the district attorney for Boulder, sent a letter to JonBenet's father, John Ramsey, in which she said: "It is appropriate... to state that we do not consider your immediate family, including you, your wife Patsy, and your son Burke, to be under any suspicion in the commission of this crime."
"The suspicions about the Ramseys in this case created an ongoing living hell for the Ramsey family and their friends," Ms Lacy said yesterday. She apologised for the years of pain caused to the Ramseys and said she wished her office could have cleared them before Mrs Ramsey died.