The 6-year-old beauty queen was found dead the day after Christmas in 1996
Credit: Andy Cross/The Denver Post/Getty

A former Boulder, Colorado, police chief who investigated the death of 6-year-old beauty queen JonBenét Ramsey has acknowledged the murder case was mishandled.

During a Reddit “Ask Me Anything” session, Mark Beckner, who retired last spring, said that he had regrets about the famous murder case, which was never solved.

JonBenét was found dead in her parents’ basement the day after Christmas in 1996. She had duct tape over her mouth and showed signs of an apparent sexual assault.

“It was the Christmas holiday and we were short staffed, we faced a situation as I said earlier that no one in the country had ever seen before or since, and there was confusion at the scene as people were arriving before we had enough personnel on the scene,” Beckner wrote online regarding the case, according to the Associated Press.

He went on to say that police should have interviewed the girl’s parents, John and Patsy Ramsey, on the day their daughter was found.

“I wish we would have done a better job of securing and controlling the crime scene on day one,” he said. “We also should have separated John and Patsy and gotten full statements from them that day.”

The 6-year-old’s mother called the cops hours before her body was discovered, saying that her daughter was missing and she’d found a ransom note asking for $180,000, the exact amount John had recently received as a bonus.

Both parents have maintained their innocence through the years. And in 2008 – two years after Patsy died – former District Attorney Mary Lacy cleared the Ramseys of any involvement in the heinous crime, citing third-party DNA evidence that was found on JonBenét’s clothing.

Beckner’s comments have since been deleted from Reddit. In a follow-up interview with the Daily Camera News, he said he did not realize that his comments would be made public.

“I talked to the organizer, and my impression was that this was a members-only type group that talked about unsolved mysteries all around the world,” he said.

When asked if he wanted to explain any of his remarks, he told the paper that the DNA evidence is the key to the case: “I’m not involved anymore, but that has got to be the focus of the investigation. In my opinion, at this point, that’s your suspect.”