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JonBenet's parents finally meet with police

John & Patricia Ramsey April 30, 1997
Web posted at: 9:35 p.m. EDT (0135 GMT)

BOULDER, Colorado (CNN) -- The parents of JonBenet Ramsey had their first formal interviews with police Wednesday, four months after the 6-year-old beauty queen was found slain in the family's home.

According to the district attorney's office, the meetings marked the first time John and Patricia Ramsey sat down separately to be formally questioned by police with their attorneys present, although both parents discussed the killing with police in the hours after their daughter's body was found.

Wednesday's interviews followed weeks of negotiations over the terms of the sessions. A statement released by Boulder Police Chief Tom Koby and District Attorney Alex Hunter did not say how long the interviews lasted, and district attorney's office spokeswoman Jana Petersen would not release any details.

A statement from Ramsey family lawyer Hal Haddon said the Ramseys were available from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and "discretion was left to the police to use that time in any way they saw fit."

"John and Patsy Ramsey fully complied with the agreement and answered all questions posed to them," Haddon's statement said.

Relations between the couple and investigators have been especially strained over the past month.

Hunter referred to the Ramseys in mid-April as the "obvious focus" of the murder investigation. The parents countered by accusing authorities of conducting "a cowardly smear campaign" against them.

The Ramseys were to meet with investigators April 23, but police canceled the appointment the day before, when the FBI's Child Abduction and Serial Killer Unit advised that the terms of the interviews were unacceptable.

JonBenet Ramsey

Patricia Ramsey called police December 26, saying she had found a note claiming JonBenet had been kidnapped. The note demanded $118,000 for the safe return of JonBenet, who was Little Miss Colorado in 1995.

Eight hours later, John Ramsey found his daughter's body in the basement of the family home. The girl had been beaten and strangled. No arrests have been made.

Police spokeswoman Leslie Aaholm told CNN Wednesday that Patricia Ramsey has yet to turn in a fifth handwriting sample requested by investigators, who have ruled out her 53-year-old husband as the writer of the note. But she said investigators expect her to do so.

"We have said once this (the interview) is done, we'll take a deep breath and deal with the handwriting," Aaholm said.

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