DNA Match Key To Solving Ramsey Mystery

With genetic evidence in hand, prosecutors now are certain they have the DNA profile of an unknown man who killed 6-year-old JonBenet Ramsey in 1996.

Prosecutors say the profile does not belong to JonBenet's father or brother, but to find out whom it does belong to, investigators will have to find a match in a growing national database with more than 5 million offenders' profiles. By contrast, the FBI says there are more than 55 million entries in its fingerprint database.

"If this person has no criminal record and has never been DNA-typed in another case, this murderer is going to be on our streets," said Larry Pozner, a Denver attorney and a past president of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers.

JonBenet's father, John, found the girl's strangled and bludgeoned body in the basement of the family's home in Boulder on Dec. 26, 1996.

A DNA profile developed from drops of blood found in JonBenet's underwear has turned up no match so far.

Colorado Bureau of Investigation spokesman Lance Clem said Colorado's own database has 86,662 DNA profiles, all of which are entered in the national database. The Colorado profiles include sex offenders dating back at least 20 years, plus any felon from the past three years in the Department of Corrections system, Clem said.

"Literally every day, dozens of profiles get added to that (state) database," Clem said.

While Colorado's database is updated continuously, the national database is updated several times a week, Clem said.

How long it might take to find a match for the DNA found in JonBenet's clothing may depend on whether the killer has had any major brushes with the law that would make him subject to a mandatory DNA test.

"I don't know if there's a way for anybody to say," Clem said.