Boulder authorities asked a judge Wednesday to seal the autopsy report on the death of JonBenet Ramsey, arguing its release would jeopardize the investigation into her slaying.
During a hearing, Madeline Mason, an attorney for Boulder County, told the judge the report contained such details as the location and condition of the body.
“The most fundamental evidence known to the killer - and what only law enforcement knows - is what was done to the body and that is precisely what would be revealed,” she said.
Mason asked that the report remain sealed until an arrest is made, but gave no indication how long that would be.
Media attorneys objected, arguing that the report is a public record and the public deserves to know its conclusions.
“The natural, knee-jerk reaction of law enforcement is to want to be the only ones to know,” said Thomas Kelley, who represents several newspapers and television affiliates. “The public has a right to know if there is a serial murderer out there.”
Colorado law states that autopsy reports are public documents, but it provides for keeping them secret to protect the public interest.
Judge Carol Glowinsky said she would rule on the request by Friday.
Police have not identified any suspects and say no arrests are pending in the slaying of the 6-year-old beauty queen, who was found strangled in the basement of her family’s home Dec. 26.
Media reports have said she was sexually assaulted and her skull was fractured.
Although city officials are saying very little, published reports say investigators collected hair, blood and handwriting samples as recently as a few days ago.
The Denver Post reported Wednesday that investigators also have sought additional handwriting samples from family members in an attempt to determine the author of a ransom note demanding $118,000.
The Rocky Mountain News said police just a few days ago contacted a former University of Colorado professor who played Santa Claus at a party in the Ramsey home on Dec. 23.
Bill McReynolds, 67, said investigators came to his home the day after he and his wife returned from a trip to Spain, seeking hair, blood and handwriting samples.
Local journalism is essential.
Give directly to The Spokesman-Review's Northwest Passages community forums series -- which helps to offset the costs of several reporter and editor positions at the newspaper -- by using the easy options below. Gifts processed in this system are not tax deductible, but are predominately used to help meet the local financial requirements needed to receive national matching-grant funds.
Subscribe to the Coronavirus newsletter
Get the day’s latest Coronavirus news delivered to your inbox by subscribing to our newsletter.