Associated Press
February 25, 2000

Police Probe Ramsey Slaying Theory

BOULDER, Colo. (AP) --Investigators in the JonBenet Ramsey case are interviewing a woman who says she was sexually abused as a child and sees parallels between her own case and that of the slain 6-year-old beauty contestant.

The California woman suggested the 6-year-old beauty queen was killed accidentally when an asphyxiation technique was used by an adult to stimulate orgasmic response. Her story was first reported in The Daily Camera on Friday.

The 37-year-old unidentified woman drew parallels between her experiences and the physical evidence of garroting found on JonBenet's body, the newspaper stated.

She told police sexual and physical abuse began when she was 3 and that she was a victim of the asphyxiation technique as a child.

``I believe the Boulder Police Department is thoroughly investigating the lead recently given to them,'' District Attorney Alex Hunter said in a statement. ``The ultimate question of the credibility of a witness and the merits of a witness' allegations must await a full investigation.''

Hunter told the newspaper he found the woman to be ``very believable.''

``Even if only 15 percent of what she says is true, this case warrants investigation. And if Boulder cops don't want to do it, I will take the case to the U.S. attorney,'' he said.

Police Chief Mark Beckner said: ``Though our detectives did not find her to be credible, we are taking what she said seriously. I'm interested in finding the truth, no matter where it leads us.''

Bryan Morgan, an attorney for JonBenet's father, John Ramsey, declined comment.

Police have previously investigated theories of sexual abuse involving JonBenet.

Legal analyst Andrew Cohen of Denver, noted the woman did not allege any fact specific to the Ramsey case. ``Without knowing what she told investigators, this is tantamount to one person's theory about what may have happened to JonBenet Ramsey,'' he said.

However, he added, ``Hunter would only get interested in her if she were to make some sort of allegation that links someone specific to the crime or presents a theory that is fully supported by the evidence.''

JonBenet was found beaten and strangled in the basement of her family's home on Dec. 26, 1996. The coroner also found signs of injuries in her genital area.

A grand jury investigated the case for 13 months, disbanding in October. No charges were filed.

Police have said JonBenet's parents remain suspects. The Ramseys, who have moved to the Atlanta area, steadfastly deny the allegations.

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