Breaking News
More () »

Detective's daughter continues his work on JonBenet Ramsey's murder

Lou Smit died in 2010. His daughter has been investigating the case ever since.

DENVER — For 26 years, countless people around the world have been fascinated by the murder of JonBenet Ramsey, whose body was found in her Boulder home on December 26, 1996.

But few people are as personally committed to the case as Cindy Marra, a paralegal at a Colorado Springs law firm, for whom finding JonBenet's killer is a matter of family pride.

"The only reason we're doing this is because of my dad. My dad was my hero," Marra said.

Marra's dad was Lou Smit, a longtime Colorado Springs homicide detective. Soon after JonBenet was murdered, Smit came out of retirement to help the Boulder DA's office investigate the case.  He left 18 months later, saying he was frustrated that Boulder Police would not consider that an intruder had killed JonBenet.

"He just felt that they needed to follow where the evidence was leading and he did not feel that it was leading to the Ramseys," Marra said.

> Watch the full interview with Marra:

According to his daughter, Smit worked on the case on his own -- up to eleven hours a day -- right up until his death in 2010.  Marra said, on his death bed, her father asked her to continue his work. 

"That really was his dying wish," Marra said.

And she has granted his wish, assembling a team of about a half dozen people, including two of her father's former law enforcement colleagues, to try to solve JonBenet's murder.

"When my dad was in the hospital, he had given me a name and he said, 'just start with that name, write down that name, start there,' and that's where we started," Marra said.

For the past few years, Marra and her team have been going through her father's lengthy list of people of interest, collecting DNA by various methods (sometimes with people's consent and sometimes without them knowing), and comparing the DNA they collect with the DNA found on JonBenet's clothes when she was killed.

"We have not gotten a hit yet," Marra said. "This man left his DNA and there’s no reason that we can’t find who did this." 

When asked how long she intends to work on the case, Marra quickly replied, "We promised we'd never give up so we're in it for the long haul.  We feel such a love for our dad that we want to pursue what was important to him, which was this case."

SUGGESTED VIDEOS: The JonBenet Ramsey Murder 

Before You Leave, Check This Out