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JonBenét Ramsey’s half-brother weighs in on Idaho college murders: ‘Near impossible’

Andrew Ramsey commended the Moscow Police Department for having requested immediate help from the FBI and Idaho State Police.

Andrea Blanco
Thursday 15 December 2022 17:50 GMT
Mother of Idaho murder victim says she ‘has to be’ optimistic that crime will be solved

The half-brother of slain child beauty queen JonBenét Ramsey has weighed in on the brutal murders of four University of Idaho students last month.

Andrew Ramsey, whose six-year-old sister’s 1996 killing made national headlines and remains unsolved to this day, theorised in an interview with Fox News that Moscow Police, the lead agency handling the quadruple stabbings, is “dealing with a violent psychopath who has no known relationship with the victim.”

Investigators have not divulged whether they believe the perpetrator in the 13 November slayings of Kaylee Goncalves, Madison Mogen, Xana Kernodle, and Ethan Chapin knew the victims or not. Nearly five weeks after the stabbings, no suspects have been identified.

“Moscow PD are in a near impossible position,” Mr Ramsey told Fox. “They simply don’t have the experience to run a complex homicide investigation.”

Mr Ramsey commended the small police department, which wasn’t faced with any murders for seven years before the November stabbings, for having requested immediate help from the FBI and Idaho State Police.

JonBenét Ramsey was found dead on 26 December 1996 in the basement of her home in Boulder, Colorado (Sipa/Shutterstock)

“I will give Moscow PD tremendous credit for turning to outside agencies for help,” he said.

Notoriously, the Boulder Police Department in Colorado faced backlash for several missteps in the investigation into the murder of Mr Ramsey’s sister.

JonBenét was found strangled in the basement of her home on 26 December 1996. Her parents had called police around 6am that day after finding a ransom note asking for $118,000, but the body was not discovered until seven hours later when officers asked her father to check if anything was missing.

Boulder police then accused JonBenét’s parents, John Ramsey and Patsy Ramsey, of staging the crime scene, although the district attorney’s office at the time was convinced that evidence pointed somewhere else, Newsweek reported.

“In our case, the Boulder police almost immediately told the more experienced Denver PD and FBI, ‘No thanks, we got this,’” Mr Ramdey said.

“Massive error and a good reason we are still here 26 years later with no arrest. I pray for the families in Moscow they don’t find themselves in a similar situation.”

Twenty-six years on from JonBenét’s killing, Boulder police last month announced plans to consult the Colorado Cold Case Review Team next year.

In Moscow, police have faced mounting criticism over their handling of the college killings. The criticism first arose in the early days of the investigation when police were forced to backtrack on an initial claim that there was no threat posed to the community.

Since then, investigators have gone back and forth on several key areas of the probe, including whether it was targeted.

Moscow Police Department has remained adamant that only information that does not hinder the probe will be released to the public (©Daily News)

Moscow Police have remained adamant that only information that does not hinder the probe will be released to the public, despite criticism from the victims’ families that they have been left in the dark in the investigation into their loved ones’ deaths.

Captain Roger Lanier said on Tuesday that police “do have a lot of information” that they’re choosing not to release.

“We’re not releasing specific details because we do not want to compromise this investigation,” he said in a video statement. “We owe that to the families and we owe that to the victims. We want more than just an arrest – we want a conviction.”

In perhaps the biggest development to date, the department asked for the public’s help locating a 2011-2013 white Hyundai Elantra seen near the scene of the murders around the time that the attack took place.

Authorities said that the occupants are believed to have important information about the crime.

Ethan Chapin, 20, Madison Mogen, 21, Xana Kernodle, 20 and Kaylee Goncalves, 21, were killed on 13 November (Instagram/Kaylee Goncalves)

The victims were killed between 3am and 4am on 13 November, authorities have determined.

On the night of 12 November, Kernodle and Chapin were at a sorority party at Sigma Chi house together from 8pm to 9pm and arrived back at the home at around 1.45am. It is unclear where they were in the five-hour time gap.

Goncalves and Mogen had spent the night at The Corner Club bar in downtown Moscow, before stopping by a food truck and then getting a ride home from an unnamed “private party” to arrive at the property at around 1.56am.

Two surviving roommates were also out that night and arrived home at around 1am, police said. The two women, who lived in rooms on the first floor of the home, are believed to have slept through the brutal killings and were unharmed.

The horrific crime scene went unnoticed for several more hours, with police receiving a 911 call at 11.58am on Sunday, reporting an “unconscious individual” at the home.

The two other roommates had first called friends to the home because they believed one of the second-floor victims was unconscious and would not wake up. When the friends arrived, a 911 call was made from one of the roommates’ phones.

Several people have been ruled out as suspects: the two surviving housemates, the man who was caught on camera with Mogen and Goncalves at a food truck in the downtown area before they headed home on the night of the slayings, the person who gave Mogen and Goncalves a ride home from the food truck, Goncalves’ former long-term boyfriend and the friends who were in the home when the 911 call.

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