lost interviews
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Report: Police lose JonBenét evidence
Detectives re-examine duct tape discovered by John Ramsey
Associated Press
Monday, February 16, 1998
Boulder-- Police investigating the murder of JonBenét Ramsey have retraced steps taken in the 14-month investigation because authorities lost evidence, friends of the Ramseys said in a published report.
In another report, police are said to be taking another look at a piece of duct tape John Ramsey said he pulled from the mouth of his 6-year-old daughter when he found her body.
The Rocky Mountain News reported Sunday that friends of the Ramseys have been asked for new interviews. The friends, whose names were not given, said police told them they couldn't find the originals.
Some also were asked for new palm prints for the same reason.
In one case, two interviews -conducted the day after JonBenets body was found Dec. 26, 1996 - were missing two weeks later, sources told the News.
When questioned about the need for new interviews, police said, "Well, we just can't find it. We have to do it again," the sources said.
The Denver Post reported Sunday that investigators have sent the duct tape in for a DNA test. The Post quoted unidentified sources who said an autopsy found no sign of skin damage on the childs mouth. They said ripping duct tape off normally would cause some skin marks.
The Post said investigators believe DNA tests should help determine whether the tape was ever on the childs mouth.
Meanwhile, Adams County District Attorney Bob Grant, who has acted as a consultant to Boulder County District Attorney Alex Hunter in the case, said it is not unusual for investigators to cover the same ground twice.
"If you go and take a fingerprint from somebody, you don't necessarily take a palm print," he said. "If you interview somebody about item a, b and c, and you go back and interview them again about d, e and f, it doesn't mean you dont ask them again about a, b and c."
Some repeat requests came after Cmdr. Mark Beckner was assigned to lead the eight detectives investigating the case.
Beckner said late last year that he and the eight detectives assigned to the case had identified more than 70 tasks, including re-interviewing friends, family and neighbors of the Ramseys.
Some people who had given palm prints in the past were recently contacted by detectives who wanted to know if they had ever given palm prints.
"I said, 'You should know this, shouldnt you?'" said one Ramsey family friend. "And (the detective) said, 'If I knew the answer, I wouldn't have asked.'"
Other sources told the News that police said they had misfiled the palm prints and no longer could find them.
Earlier reports of lost evidence were refuted by police. A published report last month alleged that a heavy flashlight found during the initial search of the Ramsey home had been missing and was only recently found. Boulder investigators said the flashlight never was lost and had been analyzed by the Colorado Bureau of Investigation months ago.
Boulder police were unavailable for comment Sunday.
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